Monday, January 30, 2012

Demi Moore's Struggle and Self Acceptance

As Demi and Ashton's breakup has been in the news for a while now and her frail physique has been shown and then the announcement that she was in rehab, I was surprised. I had forgotten whether or not she had been in rehab before yet I did remember that she looked so physically strong in GI Jane. She looked so confident in the movie when she was a stripper (yes, I watched it!) and then when she wore THAT black bikini in Charlie's Angels 2.

And then I remembered she is an actress. Her life's work is to make us believe the persona she is portraying on screen. And this was my aha: looks can be deceiving. Underneath that muscular facade, she may not have been as strong as she looked. And now looking at the bikini picture again with different eyes and a new perspective of loving my body as is, she looks thin and frail.

Demi made a comment in a magazine article that was on the news that was very sad.
"I would say what scares me is that I'm going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I'm really not loveable, that I'm not worthy of being loved. That there's something fundamentally wrong with me." The addiction specialist being interviewed said that this message was full of shame and I understand that.

I am so glad that I am waking up to the fact that I am loveable no matter what shape or form I am in. Our bodies are just the means through which we move through life, and are not to be judged. I am learning to unconditionally love my body and my inner self.

I am slowly learning that I can pass these positive messages on to my daughters. If I don't then they will accept what outside sources do. They will have bombardment from the media and commercials telling them what they should look like, etc. It has taken me time to learn to pass on positive messages to them. I had to learn to appreciate myself before I could pass it on to them. Today, we are going swimming after school in January at an indoor pool because I am learning to love to move my body again and they love the water. I love the water and it feels so good.
Somehow I had begun to think my body wasn't capable of much more than Beginners Yoga and treadmill walking every now and then. I do have to treat it tenderly and with love because with age comes the very real possibility of injury and I have had small injuries that hurt to walk. But I am taking baby steps and moving and I hope to participate in the Rocketchix mini Triathlon again. It's been four years. I'm have been surprised and how good it feels to move more in mind, in body and in my soul. And to have sore muscles.
I hope Demi can learn to love herself, it's a hard lifelong journey but oh, so rewarding.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Silence is Golden

From Joan Chittister's book, "The Monastery of the Heart"
Chapter 5 -Silence

Silence is the mother
of the spirit.
It births in us the
cloister of the heart.
It brings us beyond the noise
of chaos and clutter and confusion
of a spinning world
to the cool, calm center
of the spiritual self.

Silence enables us to rest in that center,
to allow God to work in us there,
to clear from our hearts
whatever thoughts or pain,
desire or demands,
clamor within us for puerile attention
and so take us away from our best selves

The chapter goes on but these first two sections of poetry spoke volumes to me. I believe and have felt the "cool calm center of my spiritual self." What fantastic description. When I feel that way it is unbelievable. I then have to remember to practice the steps that took me there in the first place.
I also like that being centered, God is able to work (or we are able to pay attention his work) to bring about our best selves. I know I am a continual work in progress. Just today, I went through a myriad of emotions (frustration, anger, grief) and here I am, now in gratitude. If I just sit with the emotions, they can flow through. I didn't yell at anybody though I really wanted to. I didn't pick a fight with my husband because I knew my feelings were not directed at him but our situation that we have no control over. And I was quiet and didn't say anything and then had some quiet time to myself which rejuvenated me.

Silence can be very golden.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time to get wet again

This morning in a completely unplanned manner, I took a big step for me. I have begun testing the waters to start training to participate in Rocketchix again. A mini triathlon for women and it is in mid April. It was hanging over me that I needed to get in the water and start swimming laps. I have been walking, breaking into a slow jog and riding my bike so I called the YMCA, booked a lane in the indoor pool and shot over there within 15 minutes. I ripped the band aid off. I swam at least 300 meters, because I lose track and my breath. Swimming kicks my behind yet feels so good! It's not pretty but I do it. The lifeguard was nice and I inquired about stroke instruction, and he suggested a website for improvement. I reserved more swim time and now I'm off. It feels so good.

I came home and realized that the twelve week training period starts this week, somehow my intuition knew that and pushed me out of the door!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Big C and Being All Over The Place

I found myself watching "The Big C" Showtime TV series because I like Laura Linney's work and I knew it was about cancer and that it was favorably received by the critics.

I put the first disc in, and I had one of those moments when it feels like the wind was knocked out of me. Her age in the series is 43 and she is dying from melanoma. Ewww. A little close to home, but I really enjoyed the first season. She does not tell anyone in her family that she has Stage 4 Melanoma for weeks and she is all over the place with her reaction. I feel I have been ALL over the place with my reaction to Mary and her long battle with cancer.

First I was going to "be there" for her, be present and I was. And then I learned that being present for someone means you first have to take care of yourself. And being present doesn't mean that you don't allow the other person to feel their own feelings and take care of themselves, even and this is a big even, when someone is dying. (In fact doing so prevents them from going through what she needs to for her passing from this world to the next)

I also mistakenly thought you were supposed to do "things" a certain way. But there is not. And now, I'm burnt out, burnt to a crisp and GaGa perseveres with no quality of life whatsoever. Each time I say that, she plateaus to a new lower level that I didn't know existed. This is a new chapter for me in the book of life manual. Some people die too fast and no one is prepared and some people die too slow in a long drawn out way.

In "The Big C", Cathy's husband finally finds out she has cancer, he begins to research everywhere. He finds out that a co-workers husband has cancer and he wants to talk to her and this is what happens.

It is not what he expects and I didn't expect to understand what the coworker was saying but I did, I really did. To hear someone, even a TV character say what you are going through is so affirming. It means a writer or someone close to a writer has had that experience and it makes me not feel so alone. I am ready to her to pass on, but to me that sounds awful. The last week or two I look in her eyes and they have become vacant. This rips me up. There is no more connecting to her anymore. I am a person who thrives on connections. She has become a shell.

I also think it is uncomfortable for me to experience sadness, grief and any other so called negative emotions.

Geneen Roth, who wrote the book "Women, Food and God" and has been on the bandwagon for years about intuitive eating, says and I'm paraphrasing (as we stop using food), is that we need to be prepared and ready to be uncomfortable because pain, boredom, sadness, loneliness etc is a part of life. Eww, that one bites a little.

And when you have used food to avoid feeling those feelings, it is a process to learn to FEEL the feelings. I fight this big time when big emotional stuff comes up. Going to food is such a core method of relief that it is second nature and I want to do it before I realize that I'm even having big emotions over something.

Feeling the feelings is very hard work and I make it harder by not accepting the feelings as is. Feelings just are. Feelings are about 20% and our thoughts about the feelings make up 80%. I'm tired of all the thoughts about my feelings. They just are.

When I started this journey I had no idea that my mother in law would be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer along the way. Thus watching her dwindle down to nothing, and lose her functioning bit by slow bit. Grief is not handled well by our society, one must do it fast, and not show any emotion.

Maybe that is why I like this show, The Big C, it is true to life. There is no template and the feelings are all over the place.... and that's life - all over the place. But I would rather be diving in living all over the place than hiding.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love and Boundaries

"Love—as grand and as great and as healing as it is—requires boundaries." — Dr. Robin Smith

I was once again reminded of this powerful statement this week. I sometimes want to let go with certain people in my life, but am subtly reminded again and again to keep the boundaries solid and high. It is just so much healthier that way.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can I get rid of Greys Anatomy?

I'm in that mode's de-cluttering time and it feels so right. (sing "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb right here. I kept singing it as I went through the kids' stuff recently) One of my friends described decluttering as emotional therapy and it really truly is. Purging what is not needed, or wanted as it just clutters up the space, and the mind, and the emotions. Now that the holidays are over, it is time. I have gone through stuffed animals, toys, some clothes, and George helped me purge our paper clutter this past weekend. It feels so good but alas, the job is never over there is always more.

One way I declutter is on the DVR. Cox's new format actually tells you how much space you are using and I start to get nervous when it hits 80% full. There are certain shows that I don't want to give up on. Here is where my codependency loyalty comes in. I remain loyal to tv shows (ie. people) in my life that don't work for me anymore. I use to watch Grey's Anatomy faithfully every year, I really enjoyed it and looked forward to it. Season by season, I stopped looking forward. Last year, I didn't watch any of the taped episodes until Christmas 2010 when other shows were in reruns. And this Christmas, I still found DVDs from the library and Netflix to watch instead. It's time to let it go. I watched one episode and it didn't do a whole lot for me.

I just erased 8 episodes!! and I kept the last one just so I could fastforward to see what is happening. I can figure this out by watching the recap and then the previews for next week. You can also just read the recap online which sometimes takes less time than actually watching the show. I'm not falling apart, I do vaguely want to know what happens to Derek and Meredith and the baby they were adopting.

Now....I have to make the DVR stop taping it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Colonoscopy and Suzanne Sugarbaker's Testiness

I loved Designing Women, and watching it now with some more years and aha moments behind me, I love Julia Sugarbaker even more.

I had a colonoscopy last week due to a bout with diverticulitis a year ago. After the malignant melanoma in situ experience of December, there was nothing like the word cancer to push me into scheduling every exam that has been on my medical to do list. I have an eye exam and a repeat Pap Smear left to go.

The prep was the worst part as I had been told and seen with George's three previous colonoscopies, although he is quite stoic. I could "eat" nothing but clear liquids and clear foods starting the morning prior to the procedure the next day. This is what I had to "eat": green and blue Jello, chicken broth, Jolly Ranchers, and Gatorade. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! You can have popsicles but since it was actually cold here in South LA I skipped those. I don't want to touch any of the remaining supplies now and notice how I sad supplies, not food. I evidently should have ingested more sugar because I had headaches, and it was especially bad the morning of the procedure while chugging down the 2nd half of the prep - another 48 ounces of liquid, the first 16 oz being the very distasteful Suprep.

All of that bellyaching aside, I AM thankful for lifesaving procedures such as colonoscopies and shave biopsies and the plentiful food that I have to eat everyday. I had to laugh about it because it got worse before the prep started. Two days before I start starving myself, my period kicked in. Really!! Are you kidding me? I get to bleed on one end while having a camara enter the other. Priceless!

I felt just like Suzanne in this video!! Back to the hunger, I just wanted a cracker really, really badly. I am going to eat one right now because I can. I threw it away because it was not fresh. I had to not think about it. I had to deprive myself and this brought up many thoughts of my former diet mentality, the one that I have worked hard to let go. Many feelings bubbled to the surface and I am still pondering them. Luckily it was just a day of deprivation, but I was almost ready to take somebody out.


Languishing: 1) to be or become feeble, weak, or enervated
2) to be or live in a state of depression or decreasing vitality
3) to suffer neglect, to assume an expression of grief or emotion appealing for sympathy

The word came to my mind as a way to describe to myself was is going on. My mother in law is still dying. I never thought the process would last this long. I realize that the two year prognosis was more accurate, than the two months that we thought originally. Perhaps that is an issue with control...or just her process. It looked one way and then slowly took a different turn and now it just goes on. I have heard that this is the case with some loved ones.

I go through all kinds of emotions, at first, I get mad at her, and want her to just let go and I feel my selfishness. Then I see her in person and see how she suffers. I know that all of these feelings are normal. I've ordered a book about coping tools for the dying process. But there is a part of me that doesn't want to read it because I'm tired of living it but it could be helpful. I didn't want to call the hospice social worker and I did and it really was a game changer for me in how I dealt with the situation.

I judge myself for what I do or do not do sometimes. I want to be there for her but now it has become so difficult. She is not the person she use to be. She is in pain, confused, so emaciatingly thin. She talks less and less, and there is less expression on her face. She can't answer the phone anymore, dialing has been long gone, and she is sleeping a lot. She falls asleep very easily in the midst of our presence. Evidently that is what the body does. It takes more and more energy for the body to do the smallest of functions.

I feel that I have so much to do with my own household, my own health issues, and my active children. I have to take care of the living and tend to the dying. It is an awesome responsibility. I think I will leave it here, confused, sad, angry, despairing because that is how I feel. There are no answers except that I have to do it my way. Again, there is no bow to put on it and that is okay. That is where I am.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's Uncomplicate Life

Why Complicate Life?

Missing Somebody?.....Call
Wanna Meet up?.....Invite
Wanna Be Understand?.....Explain
Have Questions?......Ask
Don't Like Something?.....Say it
Like Something?.....State it
Want Something?.....Ask for it
Love Someone?.....Tell it

I found this on FB. It is so simple yet throughout my life I did not know that I can do each of these things. I didn't know I did not have a voice, I did not know that I needed to do these things to feel fulfilled and have more peace. I have started listening to my intuition and now that I know I am capable....
The ones that are especially hard are stating when I don't like things, asking for things I want and it all depends on whom I'm asking and what I think they are use to hearing from me. Changing things up is difficult, it is uncomfortable, and the response may not be favorable but living authentically is. I never thought I was a people pleaser but that is what awareness and clarity are for.
Telling someone you love them is hard, not with the young ones but with the older ones especially when you never heard it growing up. All of these behaviors are conditioned. Bit by slow bit, I'm learning to push through to change them.

Here's to uncomplicating life!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

"The Alignment with Who You Are!"

From Abraham-Hicks
"You spend way, way, WAY, too much of your life, if you spend any of it, trying to make others understand where you’re coming from. Because they can’t get you...

It’s a waste of life to spend any time trying to convince others of your point of view. And even more, trying to persuade them to approve of you or appreciate you through the presentation to them that you are offering.

Yet almost everyone of you is offering a presentation to others to evoke some sort of response from those around you.

Now, pleasing others – we’re not against it. We’re not saying that you shouldn't be nice to live with and that sort of thing. But when you care more about the perspective of those that you walk around in human form with, you care more about their perspective than you do about your alignment with who you are, you’re letting them, and you’re letting yourself, train yourself away from your guidance system.

Let it not matter if one other person gets you at all. Because ultimately, if you consistently go with the flow of your vortex and align with who you are, if you ultimately sync up with the whole of who you are, you will begin radiating such a consistent vibration of love and wellbeing that in time, anyone who is in the vicinity of you WILL get you. And anyone who’s not, won’t get you, but they weren’t going to get you anyway."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Years 2012!!

2011 is coming to an end and it has been all over the place. Highs and lows and I'm learning to be present in the moment, feeling my feelings whether I like them or they scare me or not. Nurturance right now is my key especially with GaGa's condition.

Yesterday, I did some things that helped move me along my journey, with slight risk. I listened to my intuition and decided to attend a neighborly coffee that I was invited to thus canceling my massage appointment (known nurturance.) I had hired a babysitter because George was on call and I knew I needed some down time to myself with the girls out of school. The invitation was to an annual Christmas Coffee and it spoke of enjoying the "BALM" and a friend sharing inspirational thoughts of this wonderful season! Well, that scared me. What does BALM mean? All of my fundamentalist baggage hairs were raised. I am scared to be around people who spout "Jesus talk" and it is not because I don't believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I just like action instead of words. And the more words I hear of a certain tone, it feels like it is for show. I'm beginning to understand that we all have baggage and it manifests in different ways. The "Jesus talkers" probably never heard much about Jesus growing up so they spout it to make sure everyone is able to hear it. I heard it too much in ways that scared me and instilled fear.

Well, the first thing I did was call the hostess to inquire. I would have never done this in the past, I would just not have gone. It ends up that I had had contact with this person a few random times, and I finally figured out exactly who she was and she lives several houses down ON MY street. After, talking with her, I knew I should go.

There were several other ladies from my children's school. I walked in and immediately knew several people. The BALM talk was exactly what I needed to hear. The speaker was an Licensed Professional Counselor which is what I used to be and still am at heart I am realizing. The talk was funny and was all about nurturing one's self. It's looks like this was the <------- best decision by that smile.

Upon greeting a Dunham acquaintance , she inquired how was Christmas? I was too honest and knew I had overdone it. So later, I took another risk and went back and told her what was going on in a more appropriate manner and she understood. Later, she posted a message to me on FB which was a little love tap and I hold those dear to my heart.

Running some errands which included a stop to get Lady GaGa's latest CD, I ran into "my" Physics professor. On New Year's Eve, I knew this was a sign from the universe for the new year! I ran and gave him a hug and he was happy to see me and I him.

This was the song of GaGa's that I had really been wanting to be able to listen to in my car on demand. God makes no mistakes. We are all superstars. I needed to be able to hear the non-chipmunk version even though hearing a Chipette say boudoir makes me smile!!

Best wishes for 2012 to you, loyal reader!