Archive for December, 2011

Not Just My Body

December 25, 2011

I have spent most of the last 41 years thinking about RA in terms of just my body – that is how most of the doctors I worked with viewed it.  It gave me a victim mentality, that it wasn’t my fault because I was an innocent bystander being sideswiped by it for no reason.  Therefore, I had no responsibility except to get treatment.  It never occurred to me it was the Universe trying to get my attention.  News Flash!!!

I had a note from the Universe the other day that was really cool:

Young souls use pain to learn how things are.

 Mature souls use pain to learn how else things might be.

 And old souls, Lee, use pain to learn how else they might be. 

 T-s-s-s-s-s-s,

The Universe

Of course, Lee, pain is only a choice, among many, for such learning. It just happens to be very popular.

It is only in recent years through personal development have I realized that it is mind, body and spirit.  Over the years it has been bits and bobs here and there, then last year I had it full in the face with Ike Pono.  This year has really been an eye opener since I have been working with Debye and deep tissue massage.  I went to see her to help with the shoulder and neck pain from way too much computer and also waiting too long to see what could be done to relieve it.  I finally “got it” that I was holding on to RA; at one of the last Ike Pono weekends Bruce asked me why I has still holding on to RA.  It must have been simmering on the back burner for several months because in one session Debye told me I was sending mixed messages about it.  That meant I had to look at what was going on inside of me – I realized my identity was all wrapped up in RA and I didn’t know anything about myself without it.

What I learned so forcefully was that I was stuffing down so many feeling of anger, resentment, fear, hurt and who knows what else – all somewhere in my body because I hadn’t expressed it.  The first session was just physical massage and boy, was that uncomfortable.  The second session I was so surprised to find myself crying – I remember saying out loud “I can’t take it any more!”.  Ever since then my sessions have been like that, I find myself crying without really knowing why but I have been expressing and releasing all that junk.  It has helped me learn more about myself and  who I truly am.  My goal for so long is to love all of myself deeply, completely and unconditionally.  I am a lot farther along than I was a few months ago.  All the things, the people, the techniques, everything I have done and learned has helped me over the years to come to this point.

For so long I have just wanted to get rid of the pain so I could move comfortably and do what I want.  To me that is a cure, but there is the likelihood of it coming back because I didn’t get to the root of it.  But healing is understanding what brought it on in the first place, then  coming to terms with it and releasing it so it doesn’t come back.  I thought it was just in my physical body and once that was gone, I was fine.  Now I have come to understand there is so much more than the physical.  I’ve had several people see something in a past life that was not resolved and has been carried over into this life.  Not everyone goes along with the  idea of past lives – I am very open to it though I have not really had any glimpses of my own past lives.  It is very human to think this is the only life there is, on this planet in this time; that all this is just goofball, airy fairy, touchy feely woo woo stuff.  I have read and heard quite often that if something comes up 2 or 3 times- PAY ATTENTION!

After spending most of my life with a limited view of things, I am now open and receptive to all kinds of possibilities because limitation is too confining and I don’t feel I have anywhere I fit in the regular world.  I only know what is true for me and in no way would I ever try to convert or convince anyone of my view – in answer to Dr. Phil “It’s working pretty well for me”.  Looking at myself as a whole person with feelings, beliefs, attitudes, pains, deformities, physical limitations – the whole gamut of my life so far, all of it has had an effect on my body.  Is this a choice I made before I arrived here as a way to experience pain or to punish myself in some way for a past life?  I can’t say for sure at this moment but it does made things more understandable.  This past year especially has been uncomfortable, a revelation, satisfying, enlightening and instructive.   Going within can be uncomfortable and upsetting but the end result is definitely worth it.  I am learning to love myself and find out I  am an amazing woman, not the loser I have felt I was for so many years.

Boundaries Revisited

December 18, 2011

I realized the other day that I have been thinking of boundaries in terms of big, complicated things; I am beginning to see it is more about small increments that build into bigger boundaries.  I was in a meeting the other day and a member of the group wanted yet another group photo to put on Facebook.  My good friend said she didn’t want her picture taken that day – another day it might have been different.  Yet he insisted every one be in the photo even though my friend made it clear she wasn’t interested.  I didn’t particularly want mine taken but I found myself ending up doing it because it was too much trouble make an actual move to stand out of picture range.  Meanwhile, my friend went up behind the guy with the camera and I realized – she had created a boundary and STUCK to it while I didn’t.  Creating boundaries happens in small increments and situations than some big broad barbed wire and fence way.  It has given me pause ever since to look at situations in my life differently.

I think I am beginning to create boundaries without quite knowing it.  A while ago I was talking with someone about politics – a volatile subject any time – and he began telling me what I think and believe.  That bugged me, so I told him “Don’t assume you know what I think or will do!”.  Most of my life I usually just kept quiet and let someone think what they like. My response came because this is a person I see every day and I suddenly was tired of having him decide what I think and want.  So often it doesn’t seem like a big deal and not worth the expended energy to “set someone straight”.   But I am beginning to think that when I do it with the small things, it builds into the bigger things where my integrity is involved.  It is important to let people know it is not okay to walk all over me because I have something to say about it.  I just had a picture come to mind of drawing a line in the sand – this and no farther.

I realize now a lot of it comes from not feeling worthy, not good enough or eligible to have boundaries.  Other people did and certainly let one know when you came too close to the edge. Somewhere along the line I began to think I had no right to boundaries – if I even knew at the time what they were – just one more thing I lacked.  In Ike Pono I began to learn that I take on other people’s emotions and that makes me feel really lousy.  The trouble is, I want to help and that was the only way I knew how to help.  Now I am more aware and I care, but not so much.  I am not going to take on other people’s emotions to the detriment of myself.  It is not my job to make people happy, to solve their problems or take on their emotions – I can sympathize and care, just not so very much any more.  Our neighbor couldn’t find her cat for 2 days and was so upset and worried.  I realized I was concerned but I was not going to take it on, go look for the cat and all that.  Fortunately the cat came home and all was happy again.

I was working with Debye in a massage session and we talked about this because I am in a situation where it is very emotional and I feel myself being sucked into the emotions and I don’t want it to happen.  I saw a picture while we were working – the calm side is smooth, light brown sand in the sunlight but there is a line.  Crossing that line means suddenly dropping off  into deep turbulent waters with dark stormy clouds  that suck me into misery, depression and heavy gloom.  Not boarding that bus!  I find I still on autopilot and get sucked in to the emotions without realizing it at the beginning, but now I am more aware of it and working on recognizing what is happening.  For me that is a big revelation and step for me.

I realize it is part of my upbringing of being “a good girl”, follow the rules, don’t answer back and don’t put yourself forward or think well of yourself.  I see also it is part of giving my power away all these years rather than standing up for myself,  not allowing someone to tell me how I feel or what I want.  I know I have a need to please, I want everyone to like me and be accepted – at the cost of myself, my well being and denying who I truly am.  Since I didn’t  see myself as good enough, I didn’t think I had the right to my power – heck, I didn’t even know I had any.  Eleanor Roosevelt has some really good quotes about life and one I particularly like is “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”    It’s one that is uncomfortable to hear because it is so true, yet makes me think and see things in a different way.

Lessons From Mom

December 11, 2011

I often say I am now a parent but I have no children.  I have never really been a kid person, I hated babysitting, plus the thought of pregnancy and childbirth really put me off having kids.   Then I would be left with a squalling piece of hunanity who is completely dependent on me.  No thanks!  When I was in my 30’s I wondered if my biological clock would start ticking away and make me broody.  Then our godson from Australia came to visit for 6 weeks.  That experience short circuited my clock and blew it into oblivion.

Fast forward to this year, suddenly and Life throws me a curve ball.   I am more a parent than a daughter as my 93 year old mother deals with macular degeneration and dementia.  She has become very child like, yet with an adult brain and memory. I kept thinking it would be easier if I had had a child, but a friend told me it doesn’t prepare you at all for taking care of a parent.  Mom told me the other day she misses the things she used to do when she was rug hooking – I can relate a little because I remember how it was when I had a terrible flareup and wasn’t able to do anything but watch tv.  I can’t begin to imagine how she feels or how the world seems to her.  She has periods of being quite clear, then others when she is confused and  no idea what is happening.  Yet, she has shown me living examples of things we keep hearing about – detach and live in the moment.

It has come to the point where she doesn’t think anything is hers any more – she  will say “Your dishwasher isn’t working”, “Your dishes need to be cleaned”.  When it comes to anything that needs to be done or repaired in the house, it is our house.  Even when I tell her it is her house, it doesn’t seem to register.  If that isn’t a great example of detaching, I don’t know what is.  I think she is just overwhelmed with everything and it is her way of dealing with it.  It is a great lesson in not being attached to things or circumstances; I do have too much attachment to things especially because I see the associations with them as well as the object itself.  I am very sentimental and may explain why I am such a pack rat – it’s because someone special gave it to me or it was a special occasion or I may need it some day.

When we moved from Fort Wayne to Seattle, I had to give away a lot of things – it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be because I knew I was paying the freight on that move.  I don’t know if I could have parted with things so easily if the company was paying – turned out to be a good thing and I didn’t have to agonize about what to keep.

The second lesson from Mom is living in the moment.  For her it is mostly that way now since she has trouble remembering from one moment to another or for a day.  She is constantly asking if it is all right to do something, as if she needs permission.  That was how we grew up, asking Mom and Dad before doing anything.  She enjoys food and has a great appetite, very seldom does she say she doesn’t like something we cook.  Last week we decided to try a meatloaf from QFC because Mom had said to Eddie she would really like to have meatloaf.  We cooked it and she really enjoyed it, several times during dinner she said how good it was.  I am not sure she remembered she had said it, but in that moment eating the meatloaf was a pleasure, along with the mashed potatoes and vegetable.  There was enough left for 3 sandwiches for her and each time she kept saying how good it was.

Monday is her favorite day because the Thrift Store ladies come to play Mexican Dominoes.  She can’t see the tiles but the ladies help her and they enjoy coming and spending time with her.  She makes sure there are cookies or cake or some kind of goody for them, plus she thoroughly enjoys them herself.  Mom has quite a sweet tooth, so she loves dessert – I almost think she would rather have dessert than the rest of the meal.  It is one of the few topics of conversation she doesn’t have trouble expressing herself.

In a way it has been an eye opener for me to see a bit what being a parent is like – I want the best for her and worry a bit when I have to go out for business and she is on her own.  I am sure it has had an effect on my RA, though not sure how I can measure that.  What I know is that if I weren’t doing this for Mom, I would be putting an enormous guilt trip on myself and making the RA even worse.

Body Issues

December 5, 2011

I was down at the beach the other day, I had such a compulsion to be by the water and hear the waves slap against the sand. It is very soothing for me, reminds me of the summer nights in East Haven, CT. when we rented a townhouse across the street from the public beach.  As I lay in bed ready to sleep, I could hear the waves hitting the sand and it gently put me to sleep.  It was cloudy and the sun would peak through every once in awhile.  I was leaning against the wall and listening to the waves, my eyes closed.  A thought came back to to me that I either heard or read about a woman who said our bodies are the perfect size for our purpose in life.  Then came the thought that we are all magnificent and it occurred to me that this body of mine has to be this size to contain all of my magnificence.  Just then I felt the light and warmth of the sun on my face and I thought it was God smiling down because I finally “got it”.  But then in came ego with her “Oh, give me a break, the sun just happened to come out and you really aren’t all that magnificent”.  I realized I had a choice – listen to ego with her old familiar patterns of negativity or believe it was God smiling down on me.  It wasn’t a hard choice, just an unfamiliar one.  I told ego “Thanks for sharing but I’m not boarding that bus!   I choose  the other way , the positive loving way towards myself.”

I have had “body issues” all my life.  I can say I am Rubenesque or fluffy but the plain truth is I weight more than I need to carry.  I know with less weight it would be easier on my joints, I would look and feel better in my clothes and I would be able to wear clothes in my closet I haven’t been able to use for 2 or 3 years.  Heck, I could pretty much have a whole new wardrobe.  Unfortunately I still wouldn’t love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.  That is at the root of it.  I was an overweight middle child with two slender sisters.  I never really thought there was anything special about me, not the oldest or the youngest; not as good an artist as my older sister, not as smart in school as they were.  Yes, we are talking perception and somewhere my perception went in that direction.  In school it was harder, especially because for girls the pinnacle of success is attracting a boy.  Chalk one up on the minus side for me.  I got teased a lot and made fun of – I remember in high school some guy came up to me in the hall one day to say his buddy wanted to go to the dance with me.  That was a shock, so I think I said yes.  He went back to his buddies and they were killing themselves laughing.  My thought – what a chump to have believed it.  Chalk one more on the minus side.  I could go on and on but that isn’t the point of this.  (If it is a whinge, call me on it!)

I didn’t think I was lovable, how could I love myself?  I saw myself as fat, freckled, with glasses and very shy – not things that draw people to me.  Poor baby, victimhood started very young.  It was easier after high school, except the body issues were still there – even today.  What I am learning is that I don’t have to see myself in Madison Ave terms, there are other views that are so much better.  Let’s face it,we all can’t be Cindy Crawford, Jacklyn Smith or Vera Miles – I am me and that person, that woman is dynamite – she just has to love and believe in herself and celebrate what is so very special about her.  I have been receiving a set of email from Stephanie Rainbow Bell about loving yourself at any size.  She has a new website and it is so encouraging for those of us who are generously blessed in all areas of our bodies.  This piece was such a boost to me, I know it has been shared in many places.  Good on you Tara Lynn!  To love myself and believe in my talents isn’t being boastful, arrogant or egotistical (contrary to old messages) .  When I truly love every part of me, -including the negative bits, the hurts I caused, the stupid things I have done – when I am able to love myself completely, then some of this body issues and weight will not longer be an issue.  Louise Hay talks about that in her book “You Can Heal Your Life”.

I will admit those childhood and adult messages are still bouncing around inside, ready to discount any positive feelings, compliments or thoughts.  But now that I understand better what is happening, I am learning to make better choices and be more aware of not boarding that negative bus.  It is a learning process and I am a work in progress.  In rereading one of Stephanie’s emails, it really hit me with the idea of our bodies as containers for our magnificence.  She wrote:

When we’ve been around the block a few times as the odd one out because of how we look, we unconsciously begin to believe that we are defective as human beings because of our size.

Nothing could be farther from the Truth however!
Our bodies are not damaged, regardless of their size.  Our bodies are the vessels for our Divine Spirit and our Divine Spirit doesn’t really give a rat’s a$$ about our weight!

Our Spirits simply desired a way to expand their energetic experience by living it through a physical body!  Having arms and legs and hearts and heads gives us an opportunity to experience life as a means of expressing energy into form!  When you think about that for a minute, it’s pretty awesome right?

Can’t think of a better way to end this!

Spot On, Universe!

December 4, 2011

I had an interesting post from the Universe today – so apt and also very uncomfortable.  Right between the eyes!

Lee, what if I told you that your every conflict, disappointment, struggle or challenge, with others or yourself, was merely a manifestation of what’s going on within your own thinking… would you go there first to fix, mend, and allay?

Yeah, you might miss the drama.
The Universe

Would you?

OUCH!  I have a situation right now that is very stressful, especially since there isn’t a lot I can do to change the situation. I have been thinking lately that it is important to know what I am doing that contributes to the stress and what I can do to make it better.  Not a comfortable prospect since it is much easier to think it is the other person who is the problem and I am a “victim” – all they have to do is change and everything will be fine.  What I have to look at fully is what my perception of it is, what emotions I am attaching to it – assigned significance – and what buttons are being pushed.   However, it also means that my  “victim/martyr”  bubble will be pricked and I have to see what is really happening.  I will ‘fess up to doing the victim routine really well all these years – not really proud of it and certainly not willing to admit it for the longest time.  But then I hear Dr. Phil in my head asking “How’s that working for you”?  Note to Self – it ain’t working very well any more.  Yes, it is familiar but it doesn’t feel good and it certainly isn’t creating what I want in my life – it’s just creating more negative stuff.  People have often said I have such a positive attitude, that they don’t know how I do all that I do with RA.  Wow!  That positive feedback strokes the ego, unfortunately it doesn’t advance any healing or willingness to look at what is truly going on inside me.  Much easier to bask in the light of victim or martyr.  Good thing they don’t see the bad case of “oh-poor-me-osis” going on inside me a lot of times.

The other uncomfortable part of this is to really look at what it is mirroring back to me.  Double ouch!   I grew up with a rather negative view of things from my parents – I will say they gave us a very loving home and many things my friends didn’t have – and it has carried over all my adult life.  I didn’t really understand it for along time, that was just the way it was for me.  Now there is a lot more intensified negativity and I am beginning to understand how much has been subconscious all this time.  There are so many times when my buttons have been pushed and I didn’t know what the triggers were – I see now it is my little girl side of me who feels it so much.  I also see more and more that those negative thoughts, feeling and perceptions are on autopilot – Bam! One button pushed!  Bam! Another button pushed – like torpedoes being sent out one after another to sink the enemy ship.  Except I am not the enemy – Hello, is anyone listening inside me?  Those torpedoes are hitting my little girl and I now know I just have to hug her, reassure her she is protected and loved, I am the adult and I will protect her.  I will take the hits and learn to deflect or disarm them before they can reach us.  I am becoming more aware – sometimes it sucks – and I am working on a conscious effort to be aware of thoughts and feelings as they come, recognize them and create new choices.  Simple, not easy.

What else does it mirror?  I had another one and for the life of me I can’t remember it at the moment – must have been earthshaking.

After some thinking, I realized that part of the situation I am dealing with involves questions – the same ones over and over and over and over.  Unfortunately the answers don’t take hold and it is a constant asking all day long.  So what is this mirroring?  How often have I asked God, my angels, spirits guides and master teachers what my purpose in life is, how do I find it,etc.  I am sure the messages and clues have been sent many times, I just haven’t gotten them yet because I am expecting it to come in a certain way.  Kind of like the guy in the flood who is sure God will save him, yet declines the offer from the truck, later the boat and finally the helicopter.  The poor guy drowns and gets to heaven asking God “Why didn’t you save me”?  God’s reply was “I sent you a truck, a boat and helicopter”.  Now I have to wonder what I have missed along the way because I didn’t recognize or believe it.  Thank goodness God is patient and doesn’t get fed up with me, there will be other signs and I have set an intention of recognizing them when they come.  In Ike Pono we talked about how things come or happen but not always the way we expect it.  I once read that when one prays to God for something but in very specific terms and conditions, it limits the answers.  I have finally come to a point where I will say,”I would really like it to be this, but I am open to this or something better.”  Sometimes I am not always sure what I want, so I will just ask for whatever works.  Then I have to let it go and let it be dome.  If I keep worrying it like a dog with bone, it is as if I am constantly taking it out of His hands.  Also simple, not easy.


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