Archive for January, 2011

Now I’m 64

January 23, 2011

It was my birthday last week and my wonderful other half gave me flowers and took me to a lovely dinner for just the two of us.  We don’t have much opportunity to be alone since we have been living with my Mom since the end of 2002.  She said the other day she wants us here with her and I’m glad to be able to be here for her as she  deals with short term memory loss and macular degeneration.  However, the other side is that I don’t have my own home and my things around me and I do miss that.  It also means my husband and I don’t have the privacy and alone time we used to have.  I know that because we are here, Mom can stay in her home as long as possible.

I received a lovely package of books and a shawl from my younger sister and my older sister also sent a cool book – we are big on books and music in our family.  I also received another gift – one very unexpected.  When I was at the doc for the natural supplement study, he told me I am gluten sensitive.  Now I figure that means I have some problem with it but it it doesn’t send my body into a tailspin if I eat something with gluten. Not something I would have chosen for myself, but I have decided to see it as a gift.  After all, if I rail and complain and feel sorry for myself and play victim, I still have it and then I have made myself miserable.  Who knows, it may even help my joints and body feel better.

I have been gluten free (as far as I know) for about 10 days, not sure how long it will take to feel a difference or what that difference is.  I felt really miserable the first week or so – then learned that there is withdrawal.  Maybe that was what was happening.  Now I think I notice something but not sure and to be honest, I don’t want to read too much into anything.  I have wanted to have less pain and discomfort for so long that I want to be sure before I actually say it.

I applaud all those people who have found they are gluten intolerant all these years and had no sources of gluten free foods unless they did it all on their own.  It must have been very difficult to need to be gluten free in a very gluten world – thanks to them all they have done to create gluten free products and restaurants, it is much easier for those of us who are just starting out.  A huge Thank You to all of them – though they may never know how much I appreciate all they have done.

Bread seems to be the big challenge because a lot of the other grains such as rice, millet, teff, etc. don’t quite have the same texture and taste that flour gives them.  I tried some rice bread and it was quite dense and a bit dry – one small piece filled me up quite easily but didn’t tickle my taste buds.  Yesterday we went to a gluten free bakery and had some coffee and a pastry.  I chose an Expresso marble cake – Yikes it was a huge piece.  It was moist and not bad – but I would have been smarter to eat half and bring the other half home.  I was stuffed by the time I finished it (childhood training to clean my plate) and didn’t need to eat for quite awhile.  I bought some foccacia  to take home, it looks like regular foccocia and I am anxious to try it.  I also bought some quinoa to try as a salad with different things in it – I was looking at gluten free recipes on the web and found some for quinoa.  I am looking forward to trying them and see how they taste.

Yes, I am now 64 – I always say I earned every one of them.  I used to look back and wish I had known certain things or done some things differently, but I am beginning to understand that my life has unfolded the way it was meant to unfold, that I am in the perfect place, at the perfect time doing the perfect thing for me.  I will admit I haven’t embraced it yet, I am still stepping in to it.  My husband once remarked “You’re not the girl I married”.  My answer was “I should hope not!”.  I am a woman now and tapping into my essence of who I really am and beginning to know that amazing woman.  There, I said it!  (Note to Self – it’s not boasting or bragging, it’s perfectly fine to think well of myself.  Oh those programs firing right now).  I do not want to be that young, naive and inexperienced young girl at 22 (going on 16) who flew down to Australia to be married.  I am getting better with age and although I don’t have a clear picture of my purpose in life, I know it is there and will unfold when it is time.  I also know I may be living my purpose and not know it, that I am helping others while I live my life.  I learned a long time ago that I don’t have to know every time I am of use or help to someone – there is a part of me a little worried about getting a swelled head if I always knew.  Then whatever it is that is working, wouldn’t any more because I got in the way.  Once in awhile it is lovely to hear when I have helped someone, keeps me knowing God and I are doing our job.  Mostly I just ask God to take care of it, I will show up and get out of the way.

Don’t Feed The Monkey!

January 16, 2011

It’s been one of those weekends when I have been in resentment more than I want to be.  I have a couple of situations that I am dealing with that can really get to me if I allow it.  And you know who loves it when I allow myself to be angry, resentful and generally negative, you guessed it – ego.  She loves it because she is the monkey mind that wants things to be the absolute worst so she can control it all and revel in it.  She also is so damn sneaky that I don’t know she is creeping into control until I am ready to burst.  Some days I don’t have the energy or the strength to tell her “I see you, I see what you are doing.”  As Eckert Tolle said in his book “The New Earth”, ego loses strength just by  my being aware and observing what is happening.  Now I am beginning to see what she is doing and I start to think “What familiar pattern is this?”.

I was ready to head out to the car and scream my lungs out today and yesterday because I was frustrated.  Most days I can deal with it and notice the patterns and be able to let it roll off my back.  But for some reason I haven’t been able to do it this week.  2 or 3 three comments at different time just hit me wrong and I wasn’t able to stay objective – I went into victim mode and fed the monkey a huge meal.  One of the exercises we do at Ike Pono has to do with showing  how we assign significance to things where there is no significance.  It’s all a story we make up about a situation.  It is an exercise that does piss some people off and when it  is finished, they are asked what the purpose of the exercise was.  They come up with all kinds of answers except the real answer.   It does make them start thinking about times in their life where they made up a story about something that didn’t actually have a story.  Now I know this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless you have taken the weekend – I don’t talk about the exercises because they have a sequence and it would take them out of context to describe them.  All those stories we make up feed the monkey.

I have to admit, I have fed the monkey a feast this weekend, but it doesn’t mean I am going to beat myself up – more food for the monkey.  I see patterns from my life and how I have always reacted – time to change those patterns and viewpoint to a positive one. How easy to say it or write it but not all that easy to do.  I feel attacked and insulted for no reason, other times I feel I am not heard or valued.  Is it actually true or a story I made up to feel justified if I struck back in retaliation?  I can think of times when I did it back just so that person would know how it felt.  But it didn’t really work, just made the other person angry and more mean.  I felt powerless and helpless – don’t like feeling that at all.

Plus, yesterday was my birthday and I wanted to feel like a princess with everything sunshine and smiles.  It is my only 64th birthday and I wanted it to be “perfect”.  It is an unreachable outcome for things to be “perfect” – ask all the bridezillas out there.  Maybe just feel a bit more special than usual for my birthday.   Now I have to say, my husband brought me flowers, took me to dinner and generally made feel very loved so that princess part was just about there.  So what is my excuse today?  I’m working on not feeding the monkey today, it is taking all my angels and Spirit to work in me to change my attitude.  Actually, this is one of those times when I need an attitude overhaul rather than just an adjustment.

As I think about being resentful, I realize no one else is really aware of it or even cares because they are all caught up in their own stories from their point of view.  I have to constantly remind myself that the after effects are on me, my body and my frame of mind.  By sitting and stewing about it, playing the victim just continually feeds the monkey.  It will take some time to remember when I get this way that  it is not worth it and tell myself


The Inner Critic

January 10, 2011

Oh my, we all have one, don’t we?  Some have a stronger one than others and I have to admit, I have allowed her to be much too strong.  I  have handed her the sledge hammer she uses to beat me up – I just stand there and let her do her worst.  Why?  Well, for so long I thought I deserved it – but I now realize those are only programs that I didn’t realize were there or understand what was happening.  Yes, I am now more aware – I have also invited her to beat me up because I believed all those negative things abut myself.

I heard a story the other day about The Inner Critic that was so cool and unexpected.  Her name is SARK – she is a writer and also creates posters and cards.  She tells about doing a show as she is promoting her new book and when she was finished, she heard her inner critic telling her how bad it was, etc.  She felt bogged down by it and knew she had to do something because she has other interviews and events that day.  As she walked out the front door of the studio, she saw a squad car and a police officer.  She went over to him and asked if he would do her a favor.  She explained what had just happened and asked him if he would arrest her inner critic and take her away in his squad car.  He was a little surprised, but he arrested her inner critic, opened the back door of the squad and put her and drove off – laughing.  Then SARK was able to go on to her events with out her inner critic hanging over her head.

WOW!  I loved that!  As a matter of fact, I was coming home that day and stopped for gas.  it’s been cold here for a bit – yes, cold to us, not the Arctic Circle.  As I was filling my gas tank, I started thinking “I’m so tired of the cold”.  I realized that was really negative I decided to arrest my inner critic.  I imagined an arrest warrant, then the squad car and putting her inside, shutting the door and watching her be driven away.  After that I thought about what is great about the cold weather – being inside warm and dry by a fire, reading with a lovely hot cup  of tea and a cat purring in my lap.  I also thought about going out early Wednesday mornings to my networking breakfast group and  seeing the sun rise over the mountains and enjoying a magnificent view of Mt. Rainier – otherwise known as The Big Snowcone.  I was also very glad to come home to the warmth.  Now all I have to do is remember to do that every time I feel negative.  One of those simple but hard things.

I just finished one of my Ike Pono weekends and I was surprised and pleased to see how much more comfortable I am staffing.  I even put in my 8 cents worth and felt good about it.  Funny, they mentioned how much I have changed since my own first weekend, they had to pry words out of me a lot – a little strange since I am a motormouth from a long line of motormouths.  I also was crying a lot – still do but I don’t flood the place any more.  I had a chance to talk with Michael about understanding surrendering and letting go because I still haven’t gotten a handle on it.  It was one of those times when I needed to hear it in very plain words – essentially he said to stop beating myself up and just be.  Another simple but hard.  I never thought I was an analyzer, but that’s what I am trying to do, analyze what it is and be able to see it and hold it in my hands so I understand it.

I was working with the current Ohana on an exercise and I found myself thinking about myself.  It was a breakthrough exercise and I started thinking about what keeps me holding on to RA and what does it take to truly let it go.  I told Michael I know now RA is only part of me, not my identity; I’m trying to figure out how to know that I know way down deep inside me.  That is where he told me I am constantly trying to figure things out and beat myself up – just be.  Then he asked if I dream, I said I do.  Then he asked if I have RA when I am dreaming – I don’t think I do.  That is who I really am.  There is a tug of war inside me – one side is all about RA and the other is my true self.  Then he asked me what my Spiritual Contract is – I am joy.  That is who I really am and to be that.  It may mean saying it over and over to myself and also going back to my lists of the 25 positive things I am and concentrating on those.

Like the rest of Ike Pono, it will have to sit and simmer on the back burner and then one day a light bulb goes on and I realize “That’s what that is!”.  It has happened more than once and I expect it will continue as I see patterns in my life and also as I help other with their journeys.  Yes, the inner critic is still there, I am simply becoming more aware of her and remembering to to tell her to “Knock it off!” or even arresting her.  I have been beating myself up for 63 years – for no valid reason it turns out – and as I turn 64 on Saturday, it is going to be less and less for the future.  The biggest gift I can give myself is to love myself without judgment or criticism.  Then it is so much easier to love others the same way.

What Will Be My Focus?

January 1, 2011

WOW!  It is 2011 this morning and it is quite uncomfortable.  I was fine when I went to bed last night – isn’t that usually the way it starts?  I woke up in the middle of the night very stiff in sore in my thighs – must have been the cleaning out I did yesterday.  I took some Advil because it went from hip to ankle and very, very uncomfortable.  I was able to sleep until 7 – YOW! does it hurt now.  I have gotten up so I don’t keep tossing and turning and keep my other half awake and rubbed arnica gel as much as I can on the places that hurt.  Now the question is – Do I focus on it, on how uncomfortable it is and what am I going to do?  Or do I change my focus to something positive since I have done all I can to relieve it?  I keep hearing in my head that what I focus on, think about right now will be the future – well, suppose I change what and how I think?  Simple isn’t it.  It means reframing how I see things, choosing different things to concentrate on and seeing the gift in it.  That shouldn’t be hard.  Ah, the devil is in the details.  How easy to say, just change the focus – that only means changing 63 years of thought patterns in one fell swoop.

It’s actually not so dramatic, it is one thought at a time.  So out of the thousands of thoughts a day, which do I choose to change, and then what is the next one?  Here comes a program again.  A slightly resentful one that comes out of frustration and overwhelm – I don’t know where to start and it’s so hard to do it when I hurt so much.  Oh dear, here comes another one – I don’t know where to go with this train of thought, I really have nothing more to say.  I might as well quit and go on to something I have more to say that makes sense.

That happens to me a lot, I start out writing about RA or something else with a great idea, then find it peters out and I am at a loss about where to go from there.  Funny, I see a picture of myself out in an empty field, everyone has left and I am standing there alone, not knowing what happened or what to do.  It makes me feel the way I did in school, anonymous and invisible, that no one wants to play with me because I am overweight and not good at games.

I suspect that is ego trying to take and keep control, telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about and no one  wants to listen anyway.  She loves the negative, the doom and gloom so much she will do anything to keep in control.  And she is sneaky as well, I think I am more in control of things than she is and when I let my guard down, she is in there at the control board before I have a chance to take a breath.  But she won’t be obvious about it right then, she’ll do it quietly so I am not quite aware of it until I notice how negative I feel.

It  makes me realize how often it happens and how many times I have said “Why did I choose this, why didn’t I choose that other project, subject, etc?”.  It happened a lot in commercial art school in the middle of a project that didn’t seem to be going well.  That phrase “It seemed like a good idea t the time” keeps coming up quite often.  That’s how it feels now.  Well, I have changed my focus, but is it what I had in mind?  I don’t think so.  Now there’s the rub, I have a good intention but don’t always have a plan or concrete idea on how to accomplish it – especially in this realm of my life.  It is so much easier to physically get up and go do something else than it is to think something else that easily.  Hmmm, do I hear ego trying to make excuses here?  Another thing she is very good at doing.  It also occurs to me that I may sound like I have a split personality because I keep referring to ego in the third person.  Maybe in some way I am because ego is all programs and I am looking at being more positive, more Aloha – it’s too depressing with ego always in  control.  I am working on remembering to observe what is happening in those times – when I am aware of ego and observe what is happening, she has less control.

Now I wonder if I have accomplished anything with this post – it started out in a specific idea but I ran into trouble finishing it.  Maybe it is just another way for me to be more aware of what is happening in my head, my heart and to begin to recognize programs better.  There are a lot of them and I don’t think I have recognized all of them yet.  Maybe the clue is to just observe what’s happening when I am in this situation.  To see what thoughts come up and if they are familiar – I may just recognize another program.

I now realize that instead of giving up writing this post because I ran out of thoughts, I kept going and have found a small “aha” for myself through it.  I hope it is helpful to other people.  Oh dear, I can hear little digs from ego about how stupid this post is and it would be better not to publish it.  Yes I will post it!


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