Wednesday, May 28, 2008

a new leaf

It was only a week ago that I said this:
Then I start thinking that maybe I should just stop drinking. We usually drink 2, sometimes 3 times a week, majority being the weekend. But I can never imagine myself actually giving it up. Cutting back, yes, and I should. But never fully giving it up. Sigh.
3:00AM Monday morning [5/26] I decided I was going to give up drinking. Wasn't something I planned on at all in this life, let alone so soon after those italicized words. It was 3:00AM Monday morning when I woke up in bed with my clothes on and did not remember how or why I was in bed. The last memory I had was being on the patio with my husband, drinking & conversing having a good time and it was still daylight. It appeared I had a blackout again due to alcohol. 3 beers & 3 strong margaritas had been consumed.

I learned later from my husband that we had been out talking & whatnot, when I suddenly said I didn't feel good, and came inside to lay down. I'm glad I did fall asleep because I felt like shit when I woke up.

So it was then, with an intoxicated body but a clear mind that I said I never wanted to blackout again, never wanted to put my body through this hell voluntarily again. After I have one drink I can't stop myself from having more. But I can choose to not have that first drink in the first place.

Then I actually grew somewhat excited at the prospect of being free from alcohol. There's always that slight pressure to have a drink if everyone else is. People think it especially odd if you do drink but turn down having one while everyone else is liquoring up. But now that I will have the "I don't drink" line on my side + my family's history with alcoholism, I won't feel the need to buckle and have "just one drink" like everyone else.

Yay for my body. It's quite happy now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

just do it, eh?

Yesterday was quite the learning experience, quite an amazing day. I've been reading a few things on emotional telepathy for some time now; about picking up other people's energy and cultivating a method to not be affected by others' negative energy. One new thing I read was when you first wake up, consciously reflect on how you feel. Usually I'm quite optimistic, rejuvenated and imagine grand things I can accomplish for the day. (Though when I was working my previous, super stressful job I'd wake up with dread. That's a different issue, but definitely a sign you need to detox & relax.) How I feel when I first wake up is what my energy is when it's basically just my own. The book Personal Power Through Awareness offers a few exercises like accessing how different people make you feel when you are around them, or about to see them. See what kind of thoughts crop up when you're around certain people or at certain places that normally wouldn't occur to you at home. Another thing I read in it was how usually the people you are closest to are easier to pick things up from, (probably something to do with how much empathy you have for them versus others).

That's all background for my cool day yesterday.

So I woke up all bright-eyed and happy. My husband went off to work and I stayed home, was awake for a little while, and then went back to sleep. When I woke up again I just couldn't get myself into "me" mode, like my personality was detached and some depressed person stepped in my body. Now I was sad the previous night due to my drunken state. But I didn't think that could be causing this lethargic, just empty state I was in. I spent the whole day sleeping or being a depressed grouch when awake. I spoke to my husband for a little while during lunch, but he wasn't in a good mood either, so I basically hung up on him & went to sleep. At one point during the day I thought maybe I was picking up on my husband's energy or something because this was just really unusual for me. It wasn't until 4:00 PM that I really got up, got dressed, the usual, though I was still feeling empty.

Despite my state, I knew I wanted to get some chores done. So I took out the trash, started the dishes, just going through the motions at least. It was when I was stirring the mac & cheese that I really told myself "just be happy." It was as if the clouds dispersed and the sun finally started shining. I truly felt happy in an instant. I even started laughing it was so incredulous & genuine. I've done that numerous times before but this was the most dramatic time so it just felt really cool.

Hardly a few minutes later my husband came home. While eating dinner I asked, "Have you ever just told yourself to be happy and were amazed when it just happened?" He relayed that that is what he was thinking when he was driving home. He said he was depressed at work today (and had been for the last couple work days), and realized he was letting himself be depressed. He's working a job that, although it's a good job with good people, he is not passionate about it. I knew he was stressed at work again, but not that he was getting into a depressed mood over it. I told him how I thought I was feeling that today because it was just a really weird, foreign day for me. We did some other stuff later that confirmed we could, and probably were, experiencing each others energy & feelings.

For the rest of the evening though I was just happy and my husband was in a positive mood too.

I don't know how to fully express how interesting yesterday's experience was, but I was glad to have gotten to go through it. All day I had been in a funk and in an instant I made a 180 degree turn around mentally. Twas quite dramatic & exhilarating.

It makes me want to focus even more on cultivating positive energy and sharing that with the world.

Friday, May 16, 2008

right & left, left & right

After reading My Stroke Of Insight the other day, a cluster of ideas kept my mind awake last night. In her book she talks about the difference & functions of the right side & left side of the brain. Right side being focused on creativity, peace, oneness [along those lines] and left being focused on logistics, plans, self-interest, functioning. (Again, best if you read the book than just take my word on this.) Before I read that book I created another blog where I just type mundane, day to day crap, even ranting & complaining some in it. So last night I realized I could compare my two blogs to the two sides of my brain: New Blog = Left, This Blog = Right.

In the book and in other readings I've done, particularly Dan Millman books, there is talk of the need to balance your life. Jane Bolte Taylor (Stroke book) presents it in a more scientific way of balancing your left & right side. If you're just living from the right side, you couldn't get anything phyically accomplished, couldn't communicate with others who were using their left side, and couldn't function as a "normal" person in this society. But if you spend too much time functioning from your left side, you'll be really stressed, unhappy, obsessed with things that don't truly matter, and possibly too self-centered. You need to balance.

Dan Millman presents it in a more spiritual but practical manner of "head in the clouds, feet on the ground." There is a reason why he's a reknowned author and I'm not, so I encourage anyone to read some of his work & not directly take my words as his.

Both authors offer awesome techniques on how to accomplish this & why it's for everyone's betterment that we try.

I guess I'm more reflecting here than making a point. But the combination of Millman's books with Taylor's book really struck a cord in me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

her stroke of insight

I just finished reading My Stroke Of Insight by Jane Bolte Taylor, PhD.

Quite awesome and an easy, short read. Though by no means short of inspiration, truth & general awesomeness.

Watch this short, fascinating lecture to get a glimpse of what the book is about. Just watching this lecture it quite awe-inspiring itself.

Monday, May 12, 2008

go with the flow

I intend, I intend, I intend.

I intend to go with the flow. I have read and believe that stress is created when you resist what is happening. As in, say you receive an unexpected $1600 bill in the mail and you simply don't know how you're going to pay it. You're going to get stressed worrying about what to do, agonizing Why Oh Why Did This Happen, and nothing will be the better because of your stress.

This example is happening to me and my husband. Actually this particular Random High Bill In The Mail happens to us on a cycle it seems, so we obviously still need to learn something from this. Anywho, at first we would get really stressed out about it, especially when we were in college with literally NO money to our names. But once we accepted the situation, stopped resisting, and instead calmly tried to figure a way to move forward, money fell into our laps one way or another.

My husband and I did spend about 48 hours bitching and lamenting about this situation, but now we're in the move forward phase. And we know we didn't need to bitch and lament, that we were attached to some self-pitying and vocalizing frustration with a certain woman who had a hand in creating this bill. I intend to one day not feel we have to go through that extra, negative step. I do congratulate ourselves on not spending a week or whatever moaning & groaning.

During the initial shock & frustration period, there was one phrase that helped put me back at center: This too shall pass.

That's one reason I want to tattoo it on my forearm. It is a reminder I wouldn't mind having around all the time. And it really does help me keep perspective.

At the end of the day, though, it's all for a reason.

I intend to learn from it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

a perfect misunderstanding

Right off the bat, I believe we are all perfect. We can change our behavior, how we view the world & situations, change our physical appearances, and before, during & after all this, we are still perfect. Why? The answer to that is a whole other conversation, but for me it's basically that we are here to learn important lessons. We are acting and thinking in whatever fashion at the moment to learn something.

Now what saddens/confuses/frustrates me (depending on my mood) is when people think that if they thought of themselves as perfect, it would lead to dangerous behavior; that they would think themselves superior to others & commit mass genocide; that they would sit around all day becoming lazy & soft.

I think what some people think is if they are perfect, that status somehow makes them superior. When really, we are all equally perfect. For if we view others as perfect and equal as ourselves, and we love ourselves truly hence loving others truly, dangerous behavior would not arise.

Instead loving, compassionate acts would spill forth because we would want to help ourselves and others. We wouldn't want to sit around the TV all day for the rest of our lives because that would be unloving for our mental and physical well being. Rather we would want to show respect for our bodies & minds and keep ourselves fit.

If you viewed another human being as equal as you, then you would not want to harm, abuse, or oppress them. You would want to be kind, help when you could, and they would understand when you couldn't.

At the moment, I am saddened when I hear the excuses people come up with for why they can't love themselves wholly or think themselves perfect. They think if they did, they would get "worse," in fact it's the opposite. But I remember I used to think like that as well, and here I am now. So there is hope. Anyone can change.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

keep the peace

I just got done reading a hell of a book: Rogue State by William Blum. I would suggest reading it. Many critique it as being one sided (which it is), the topics and facts being taken out of context (probably true) and criticizing the fact Blum doesn't have any "real" qualifications to write about American diplomatic affairs. However, the same goes for the history books that are in our public schools and reported "news" on various media networks. So take what you can from this book, do some research of your own and form your own opinions, that is what I suggest.

In any event, after reading this hellific book, I felt tremendous despair. I was mentally paralyzed, not knowing how to think or what to do next. And then my mental training started to kick in. I prayed (in the nonreligious sense) and thought of peace. I hoped for peace for humanity. I thought of love, of the positive things we are capable of. Some of my cynicism did kick in still, and I joked about never wanting to pay taxes again. But in the long term, I will still pray for peace. I will do what I personally can to contribute to a positive cause. I can't save the world by myself, but I can help it by loving myself and my fellow humans, even the ones that sometimes trigger my despair.