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and the Art of Slowing it Down
Tag Archives: Triangles
February 1, 2018Posted by on
It’s still “Time to Talk” somewhere…
And so I further share many people are most comfortable talking to me personally and I find that extremely worthy/valuable. But isn’t it really most curious about societies comfort level. I find it FASCINATING in fact???
That shared, although most fortunate & grateful for my connections, I am often saddened that people – the majority, in fact – feel that they need to hide their trials & tribulations and I struggle with how “private”, a.k.a. kept on the DL (down-low) undercover, our intimate conversations are.
It motivates me frankly to be all the more open (which mind you is both alienating & I reiterate sadly alienates) to show that there is no shame in very vunerable. IMO it is often most meaningful!
In large part even though this (new & improved) feed of mine is still in the beginning stages, it has been ruminated over for years, I make an important mention today. You may read/ deliberate/ remember on your own and not respond w/ a comment or a like AND that is o-kay BUT I ask you to pls consider this: mental health to quote my cousin about a recent teenage suicide in her community “is clearly a multi-layered issue with no clear path to help….except communication”.
So I encourage you to help me, help us bust the Stigma. Reduce the isolation & shame and challenge you to communicate even if you feel uncomfortable.
*Note to reader: This was originally posted on Instagram with the (UK) hashtag #timetotalk. You can find me @jessicakaushik for smaller FUN stuff.
January 13, 2018Posted by on
I don’t need to tell you – but I’m going to, it’s a hard knock life!
Like I made mention Tuesday was it? I am allowing the housework to still get to ME. Yes “allow”. Yes poor “me”. (Lol. Pity me not. I’m really spoiled rotten <White, American, comfortably unemployed… this list goes on> and just having a moment. In large part due the stress, the work that I create for myself, that will pass when I get this off my chest.)
I’m just not used to it & I had other plans for January. A little thing called 2018… Damn expectations! Looks like many a thing will be put ON HOLD until Spring.
And I don’t know about you but, as a consequence, it’s so much more ?enjoyable, is that the right word – that can’t be the right word, to do what is …easier! Ah the right word is that dirty little word “easier”. So let’s just be clear shall we? (For my sake, not yours.) Easier is not recovery. Easier is NOT mindfulness. But my point, about enjoyable, is that sometimes easier bring a levity/joy that we all need.
Nonetheless it reminds me of a quote that I just stumbled on & is now irking me – like the word irks? (I do) – ATM; …winners do daily what losers refuse to do. Or a better one, on my son’s school tee in fact (gotta love a good school) …Winners train & Losers complain.
What I don’t understand is why am I such a Loser? I love life. In fact I LOVE MY LIFE! Have v little to complain about, but in some ways I am complaining here. Read on & in a sec you’ll see why!
I clearly see that I still at 44 have a lot to work out. That is not a problem – the problem is with that I must put away the #negative selftalk (‘cuz I drank three glasses of wine last night, at this fragile time, I know better so this morning I’m a little fuzzy and I feel like a Loser – I’m smarter than that, not stronger) but like the adage – old habits die hard – it’s easy to beat myself up!
It was so v unrealistic of me to think one would cut the edge. ONE never cuts the edge!
It tastes and feels so good, most – if your like me – go for two. Or, shame on me, three last night. Yeah, okay – okay it’s not the end of the world, it was only three, but it was the wrong “break” to take. It was not in my best interest nor self care – which I need the more time for right now to be a G.O.L.F., Goddess of Light & Fun.
After all these years – I really know better <insert sigh> but to my point; I did what was easier.
And now, after another restless night, my activity online has been excessive this week and I am as impulsive as, well, always. Just feel like I am back to ground zero – because I tossed and turned beating myself up – up down, up down, up down… and now I feel like I am back to ground zero – because I tossed and turned beating myself up, which is mania really. Up down, up down, up down… that’s making me SAD. And I’m so v afraid of sad!
Ironically I am starting a cleanse today that I forgot Rahul & I had planned (that’s also not v mindful but damn if I don’t use this gift of a cleanse to think) and I cleaned the house yesterday so we’d have little to do today – so we could just enjoy a mindless family day on the PS4 and slow down this mania.
Wish me & my small nucleus luck? Mr. Remarkable has been working so v hard for him, his team, me/us, work lately – he needs a good funday & we all know remarkable boy wonder deserves it! And I/we really can’t afford a slip/setback at the moment.
October 31, 2017Posted by on
After ten (10) plus years I was hospitalized, again!? And all because Mr. Remarkable was in China. By no fault of our own, we’ve been involuntarily separated since mid July?! So as you can see, my husband wasn’t around to see me slip, in person. I don’t intend to offend anyone, but make light like a feather, as in the looney bin for 5 (five) days!?!?!?!?!?!? <insert a BIG frown>
And so, here – with this photo (he was so v nice to comply), I take/took back my power! I did not “unite”/bond really with any of the other mentally ill patients. Was afraid to talk to them, really. Gather I shouldn’t say that! But most were hearing voices & secluded themselves to their, shared, rooms. It was really REALLY sad.
You can trust however that I did try to reach many. But they were fairly unreachable!?!? Did I mention that it was sad? Entirely depressing…
I did however meet a REALLY stand up guy! David. (Note to reader: I think it okay to use his real name here – in case he ever reads this, although it’s against my blogwide policy.) Trust, I’ll never see him again!! Which is really hard b/c like I said: he was a really stand up guy. Caught in a similar, but not, situation at the same time in Seven Hills (Las Vegas) to detox. It was serendipitous.
Mental Health institutions (is a Psychiatric Hospital an institution?) are tricky and although I’d like to help him along his recovery, I cannot. It would have been selfish of me to leave a call back number when I called to say “it was nice meeting you”. Even though I do need friends, that I can touch, while here on an extended holiday in Las Vegas.
God help me make friends in Las Vegas!? It’d be good to get out of the house more often…
But, I digress. David, if your listening, I respect & admire you! Your (bipolar) mom should be proud. I pray that giving up the sauce will unite you more intimately with others. Alcoholism is an albeit common but more importantly lonely disease. Hence the problem, I gather. I pray that your estranged twenty (20) something year old daughter let’s you in. Try to get in? I imagine that part of your rehabilitation is for your relationship w/ her?? Operative word, your! You gotta do this for yourself!
Finally, I’ll close by saying: (Chopra is often right.) I trust if you look for God in other, healthier/wealthier, places you’ll find him or her. Good luck! Xx
April 23, 2016Posted by on
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.
January 14, 2016Posted by on
It’s so easy! I repeat: it’s SO easy for our loved ones to shift the focus to us; to avoid their own problem child!! I for one, as a blogger know this first hand!!! IMO because I try to honestly and diplomatically share some of my inner most feelings publicly here I get condemned for it at home!?
Everyone thinks that my husband is so gentle and tolerant but I no longer see those qualities as often as others do! :| In the beginning those were the qualities that attracted me to him but to my point I have to work hard to find other things attractive today. I trust that you can read between the lines. If my husband mistreats anyone, it’s ME!
Today, and I mean this morning; I got blamed for his disappointment with our much-needed conversation about a financial matter. One thing led to another and it was a snowball, after minute seven (7) we no longer knew what we were talking about… much to my surprise we were talking about my recent post “it’s excruciating being me” but today was the first mention of it!
Problem IMO is that my “remarkable” husband is not in touch with his inner child. Hell he is not even in touch with his brother! (Not because they are estranged but because hey do not make time for one another.) He is not in touch with the higher Spirit that brought us here today, let alone together… God bless him, he hardly has a chance to take a break to notice the finer things in life and as far as this post is concerned that includes ME! But to his credit for a few weeks last December he turned to meditation; Yoga Nidra in fact. I was hoping for the best but as life goes, those good times often fade away like ships passing in the night.
I don’t want to drown you in complaints about my husband, he’s not all bad, and all us folks in relationships can relate – we all have complaints about our better half BUT I also don’t want to bury my head in the sand… and I feel at this moment that I have no other outlet but this blog!
And so I continue because I know my husband will read this post. Honey if you’re listening: EVERYTHING is not my fault! YOUR opinion about me is so very inflexible, set in concrete in fact, and that is so very damaging to our relationship! IMO you are holding onto grudges for your own inability to achieve perfection; let alone mine! It’s high time to forgive yourself, & me, and move on!
More over it occurs to me that you are incapable of reaching into the depths of your soul and sharing yourself the way I do here. You’re a man. Most men can’t! And I will try not to blame you for that any longer but in return I ask that you give me some credit where credit is due. It may come easier to ME but it’s hard work to be this open. I dare say that it’s terribly unfair of you to use it against ME!
April 8, 2015Posted by on
Am I an addict? I like to drink. I would drink everyday if my husband would let me… and as a family, my (non blood related) husband included, we imbibe a lot!
On vacation this fall, I drank every day! Every night and every afternoon… I would start, at lunch, by skimming a drink off the left over bottle from the night before and wait until we started to make dinner to have a second and then a third and then usually another before bed… after three weeks I was disgusted. I could no longer get through the day without one drink!
So I decided to cut back. I decided that a) I wouldn’t drink alone, b) I wouldn’t drink before five and c) unless it was a special occasion – I would limit my drinks to two. It’s been a mere month and I have broken every rule! I repeat: I like to drink!!
So I ask… Am I an addict?
I started drinking juice and barley tea to ward of the craving for something different, water gets boring, and it works when I do it deliberately but if I am lazy and don’t consciously curb my appetite I can slip and have a drink or two… that even after I’ve already consumed the other empty calories?!
My vacation this fall scared me, but is that enough? The thought of losing my family to a disease like alcoholism seems so absurd, but it happens all the time! It would royally suck to lose my boys!!!
In truth, I don’t want to end up in AA and never drink again. I’ve said this before: I can’t imagine social events or holiday dinners without a glass of wine… and I admit sometimes, at social events, I drink to curb the nervousness – sometimes I wonder “Will anyone like me?” – “Do I have anything interesting to talk about?” but other times when it’s just me and my two (2) year old son, after a long day, I want a drink?!
I trust that I am not alone. I know many people, albeit many other mothers, all over the world of many shapes and sizes, drink for a myriad of reasons – I just wish that I knew my reason. Maybe I just like the high. Maybe I just like checking out after a few? …so I ask again with all sincerity: Am I an addict?? …How serious is my problem??? Do I have a problem???? Am I hiding from something, running from something?????
Note to reader: I am just rummaging through some old drafts on another sleepless night… I wrote this one two (2) years ago, my son is now four and a half (4.5). Nothing’s changed I still like to drink… and so I am inspired & have I’ve decided to cut back. I decided that a) I am going to attempt to not drink alone! That’s it. I have one (1) rule.
February 1, 2015Posted by on
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.”
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.”
October 4, 2014Posted by on
Dearest Cici, the suicidal woman in denial that I recently posted about, you helped ME with a struggle of my own! So I just want to say THANK YOU CICI and share that I struggle with denial too!
If I am honest, I have always liked to drink since I started in my teens but for the past few years, namely two (2), I have been drinking more than usual. Being an expat and stay at home can be hard and in retrospect I gather I was moderately depressed… always reaching for a glass to cure my daily woes.
Typically, while starting dinner, I’d open a bottle of wine and have just two glasses of wine by dinner’s end. Problem is, that I was doing it whenever humanly possible! My husband was not pleased!! Basically it became the way to end the day, to shut down. Problem is that I would go to bed immediately after putting my son to bed and sadly before spending quality time with my husband?! My poor husband! As if the fact that I don’t shower every day wasn’t enough!
…I learned years ago that his dominant love language is “quality time” and I repeatedly selfishly disregarded it these past few years!? (Reader if you do not know, kindly see http://www.5lovelanguages.com. It has helped my husband and I make sense of one another’s needs over the years.)
Needless to say I thought I am/was fully aware of the potential dangers that Bipolars have with drug/alcohol abuse, I have been dealing with being bipolar for ten (10) years. So I’ve heard the stories, witnessed the struggles… but apparently I didn’t take them to heart, apparently I wasn’t really listening. Apparently I wasn’t ready to hear it. After all, it was often only 2 (two) glasses…
During this time I sought the help of our local AA, Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter; however they tried, they couldn’t help ME as I was unable to accept the severity of my drinking problem because I never hit rock bottom! I couldn’t connect to their stories; their real life nightmares. And I read Chopra’s “Freedom from Addiction”… he has great advice and talks about the great goal but I couldn’t manage to sit twice a day!
To my knowledge, my drinking didn’t impact other aspects of my life; only my marriage?! I gather I took it for granted; feeling very secure. It is dangerous to feel so secure!
I was not completely unaware that I lazily, sheepisly, reached for a glass to relax or cope with the stresses of daily life but I constantly minimized its consequences and was unable to face the addiction aspect of it!
When I married my ‘soul mate’ in 2009, I vowed “with all that I am and all that I am to become”… mind you, I had no intention of becoming an Alcoholic then and I still don’t now! The odds might be against ME but I have been fighting the battle squandering bottle after bottle down the drain! How very wasteful of me!
Today, I can comfortably share this with you because I am on the mend! I have been trying to address these daily 2 glasses since they reared their ugly head! I have learned a lot about myself in the process. Healed even… I am still drinking, now, but I learned that my “drinking problem” and “rock bottom” are relative. Gratefully, I no longer drink to escape but I drink because I like the taste!
It’s taken hard work, it’s been two (2) long years… not days, not weeks, nor months but years! Now I am drinking considerably less and making relative leaps and bounds with other constructive endeavors in my life! But I don’t want to get into all that now… What I want to share today about denial is what’s clearer to ME after working to reach Cici.
I am finally accepting* my denial and have come to the realization that I am no good to anybody if I cannot walk the talk. So thank you Cici. I’ve got this. Now, I’ve got a handle on this!! You made that message click for ME! Now I see that I can’t help anyone else if I can’t help myself. And I so want to do something positive in this world!
Clearer still is that I learned like the image above depicts, denial is a BIG waste of time… if any of you have advice on just how I can ever make up for the last two (2) years, I am all ears! But I trust that it’s not possible. All I can do now is try to make today all the more remarkable to make up for it!
Clearest of all, I love myself! I mean, I am really beginning to prove that love myself and unconditionally at that. i.e. It’s okay that I knew but didn’t KNOW that there was a better way, an easier way to ease release. Fortunately, for ME, I was never held accountable; rather I was repeatedly forgiven. I recognize that I might not be so lucky next time.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my dearest Husband now, at this very moment, for all of his listening and for all of his support. I feel guilty for not thanking him first… Gratefully he let my denial take it’s course, watched it closely, and did not force ME to seek treatment and quit drinking cold turkey. He understands as Gabby Bernstein does that “marriage is a holy relationship in which two people hold space for each other to grow, learn and heal”. I have grown. I have learned. I am healing… I just hope that I haven’t done too much damage in the process.
Many of my role models are recovering alcoholics – Adele, Brene Brown, Gabby (as mentioned above)… I admire their discipline but I cannot seem to wrap my head around a life devoid of alcohol! Pathetic, I agree, but it’s deeply engrained in ME that many a celebration, big & small, like a new job or your child’s first visit from the tooth fairy, go hand in hand with an alcoholic beverage. In my opinion, filet mignon most certainly does. I might not each much steak anymore but when I do I want a big rich cab(ernet) to accompany it…
As for the rest of you, I am grateful for the ability to put myself out there, to be honest and to share this with you today. If you sense that you are in denial about something. Do YOURSELF a favor. Sit quietly for as long as you need, it may be a week – it may be a month, and follow Lee Jampolsky’s advice to “ask yourself what is really important, and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around the answer”.
*Kindly Note: I use the present tense of acceptance. It is, I am, a work in progress and my awareness of this weakness needs to remain present. My hope is that writing this post will help me keep my drinking in check, reinforce that I have any number of other tools to reach for first and that drinking should be a last resort to handle stress. Who knows, the next thing that you may hear is that I have given it up all together… at two (2) in the morning, it seems clear to me that I should take my abstinence a step further & just saving it for special occasions. I do not need to loose any more sleep on just an average dinner. #2glasses
September 17, 2014Posted by on
So I am no longer writing a Play. I am writing a Film, a Movie… a Screen Play. Trouble is I have never read a “Screen Play”. (Insert grave doubt.)
In the short span of twelve (12) pages I learned that painting the picture is more important to ME. My resident expert, my younger sister and actress, pointed that out and has helped me understand that Plays are driven through language and dialogue… Movies through images.
I am a visual person; I need images. I speak in images. And frankly, if it’s going to be an autobiography and therefore about being Bipolar, there was little dialogue, outside that with my therapist, about my neurosis’, my psychosis’… for years mind you I hid my conspiracy theories, delusional thoughts and paranoia to the best of my ability!
… I thought that I would write it backwards; from my current, some would argue, ‘perfect’ and stable life to the unforeseen calamities, sudden and serendipitous distress, that they Universe dropped on my doorstep ten (10) years ago this month. But then I woke in a fright a few days ago thinking “backwards is all wrong” and realized: “I need more feedback”! So I sent my logline & synopsis to my nearest and dearest soliciting their criticism.
My Mom, of all people, said “Well written kiddo” full stop.
That’s it?! I mean that’s all my MOM is going to share about these dedicated steps/adventure that I have begun to better understand myself? That’s’ it? I mean C’mon, really??
In the most unapologetic way possible, I have to say that she’s the deluded one! She is most certainly unaware of how cathartic telling one’s story is… my hope is the the act of writing my story, possibly producing it, will change ME, deeply… perhaps proFOUNDly?! Maybe, just maybe, this time I will find myself?
After some prodding and in reference to the title and synopsis of my, now, Screen Play she said: “I think that the title is a work in progress. You will need to work through whether or not people will “get it”. It may be perfect in the end-you don’t have to keep it if something better presents itself.”
And she’s right. I have only just begun. I need to bring my yoga practice into my writing and work at being flexible.
Before it turned into a movie, my older sister said: “That seems like a great starting perspective to begin to write. I just wonder whether by not simply writing but rather creating these artificial constraints (it’s a play, it has a summary, it has a title) that you will more easily get in the way of what you would like to accomplish – figuring out your story.”
A-ha! She is so very right! Much of the “how to write a play” books that i read last year, when this project started, directed ME to write a log line & synopsis to help ME get started. And I gather that I have to look at it just as that! It’s only a beginning. (Note to self. Archive that draft!) Already since her note I have realized that, although she lived part of it, she doesn’t know the whole story. She doesn’t know, nor really truly understand, my experiences from my perspective but more importantly nor do I. I need to allow the story to unfold. That’s a sure fire way to find something.
Then the resident expert, my younger sister, said: “Keep telling the story. That’s at the crux of it all, the storytelling you are trying to do. That’s why we, the audience, care…we’re intrigued by the story. I just read your blog post, Just stop it already, and what popped out to me was this: “Who’s gonna steal an idea about a crazy woman finding herself?” Specifically the “a crazy woman finding herself” Is this your story? It’s actually very compelling. I want read it, I want to go on that journey.”
Aha – she got it! Before I did. (Insert the wise words from my older sister.) That is what my story is about, today!! It is about being on this never ending path of finding myself; it is a spiritual journey… I am writing it, whatever it will become, as if to imply that each of our ‘beautiful’ lives are fated. And to do that I need to let go to see the message better. In his new book “Growing into Grace” Mastin Kipp, the founder of the dailylove.com, is trying to communicate: Life doesn’t happen to us. Life happens for us!
If I do nothing else; I am now on this journey, I am going to let this happen to ME!
September 11, 2014Posted by on
Here are ways that I have learned to cultivate coping strategies/skills with my manic-depressive disorder. Making the list will help inform my play; so it has a purpose beyond trying to help you, my readers. It will also support my latest ‘project’.
• I take my medicine at the same time everyday. Like clockwork. Every morning, every night. It is now a part of my circadian rhythm and I would argue largely responsible for my stability. Note to Reader: I haven’t slipped into major mania or depression in seven (7) years since I started doing this. Surely, my time is coming?
• I sleep as much as I can. Periodically I go through creative periods when I require less sleep, like I am experiencing now, but on the whole I get a good eight (8) to ten (10) hours of sleep every night. My husband hates it but he has accepted it. I find that lack of sleep really gets in the way, on occasion, when we have a social event and I, invariably, am the first to leave the ‘party’. Often naps don’t quell the bedtime zzz’s when I wake up at 3am. Nobody should wake up at 3am if they are not breast feeding…
• I keep the communication open. With my husband especially. I try to be honest and tell him the first moment that I notice something out of the ordinary; but it is hard. I don’t always want to believe that I am not normal… Together, we pay special attention to my triggers and talk about what’s going on when we see changes in my behaviour. Then we seek the help of medical professionals as soon as possible so as to avoid a relapse.
• I practice yoga. My first class was in New York City in 1998; and over the years I have learned many nuances in it’s eight (8) limbs to help me manage off the mat. Yoga gives me faith that I can endure the strain. It helps me stay centered in face of many of life’s challenges. It’s not about the perfect posture, the best part is that it helps ME better know myself! This November, I am going to take a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Course in hopes of deepening my practice. If I am honest I really could work harder at taking a few deep breaths when ‘the shit hits the fan’ at home. How my husband would appreciate if I took a few deep breaths! Sadly, I still just throw more shit at the fan!?
• I meditate now and again. My relationship with meditation is unstable… it flows in and flows out of my life but Chopra has me convinced now that it is a panacea for all. So I am committed to do it more; since the full moon August 10th I have been doing it consistently, every day, and I feel remarkably better. My perspective is lighter, more open. As it helps to remind me that I am connected to the Source of all things in the most obvious & subtle ways. It doesn’t take too long; just fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minutes. Often I replace sitting cross-legged with lying on my back and listening to a Yoga Nidra recording; Yoga Nidra is a great relaxant. Am sure that you can find it online? That said, meditation is also the way that I pray these days. In silent just trying to connect to the Spirit. I don’t ask for much anymore… I don’t think that I want to be disappointed.
• I keep my house neat and tidy. I am a minimalist and designer at heart but often find that having white towels and bed sheets in every room diminishes the clutter; moderates the distractions/visual noise. I am a visual person. Each room in my small three (3) bedroom apartment has an identity of it’s own but all of the walls are white and the furniture is stained the same black/brown color. My accents are like jewelry decorating the spaces. For me all the white is not boring but it silhouettes the decorations, making them all the more special. I appreciate homes with more color, more variety, but I really don’t think that I could not live in them!
• I am working on monitoring/managing my alcohol consumption. It’s too easy to kick back and reach for a glass of wine; my husband and I, we work hard to keep it in check. Mind you, I am fully aware that I should give my medication the chance to work better for ME. I should really leave it alone to do it’s job – if only I could stop the compulsion to self medicate. Oh why do I meddle? Why do I self medicate?
• I stay connected. Outside of Instagram and Facebook, I work hard at fueling the relationships that matter most to me. I follow up with things that are going on in other peoples lives, I send photos, let people know when I am thinking about them and I use my physical resources rather than just relying on Uncle Google to solve all my inquiries.
• And I write this blog. Before there were journals. Now there is a blog. God willing, next there will be a play!
I will also take a moment to share things that I am not very good at but I think could help further.
• I talk to a professional. When I need it, therapy often helps. Usually I leave a session with a least one good kernel of knowledge. At times I find it liberating to have a non judgemental third party opinion.
• I have a gratitude jar. But I don’t use it often enough. It sits on my altar, as a reminder to be thankful, nonetheless. I see it practically every day but am often not inspired enough to take the time to write down what I am thankful for at that moment. Being grateful for things that are outside the things that we take for granted takes considerable effort. But as with anything, I imagine “Practice makes perfect”. That said, I will stop for a moment now and find something to add to the jar!
• I eat healthily. But I need to eat more slowly. My weight is in check but I imagine that my body could pull the vitamins and nutrients from my food better if I would merely take the time to chew my food well. Maybe today I will remember: “My body is a temple”?!
• I walk. I don’t run, I wish I could run but I can’t. I have a slipped disc. So I humbly walk, saddle bags and all… but when I am not exercising I should really walk slower! Like my late Grandmother always reminded me, I should really “stop and smell the flowers”. Often I miss opportunities to connect with my neighbors because I am rushing past them in the grocery store or on the sidewalk. There I said it, I rush. I am a rusher… I rush past divine opportunities to feel a little less alone in the world.
• I put the phone down. As of late I am trying not to check my phone when I get up to pee in the middle of the night AND I am trying to get through at least one hot cleansing beverage before I check my email in the morning. But that’s not the only problem, I trust I really should just turn the ringer off… because every time it beeps, I am on top of it and quick as lightning to reply… my iPhone has got a hold of me and I want hold of it!
So there you have it, a handful of things that help me get by. I hope that they will help you too!