What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a day makes!  Thanks for all of your well wishes, thoughts, peace, prayers and positive energy.  I walked into her hospital room yesterday and Granny was wide awake, chatting it up and had the whole nursing staff it stitches, telling them unfiltered stories about us.  It appears that, in addition to weakness on the left side and limited field of vision, Granny has also lost her inhibitions.  She’s telling it ALL!  If anybody had any secrets between them and Granny, forget about it, it’s all coming out now.  I mean everything.  We’ve heard about several affairs already and had a great history lesson.  She told us about a relative who was married to a woman who lived in the “big house” (translation: she was the daughter of a slave and the slave master), but was raised in the masters home and despite marrying a black man  — my great grandfather – decided to stay in the big house while my great grandfather raised their children with his mistress, the lady I know as my great-grandmother who was grandaddy’s “stepmother”).  Did you follow that?  I did and I was fascinated.  She told of more affairs like this from the late 19th century and early 20th century. 

We also got a science lesson.  One of my cousins is pregnant and she just told Granny yesterday.  Granny had her lean in as she whispered loudly, “Did you have a good time?”  I about hit the floor!  Granny went on to explain that if the woman has a better time than a man during sex when she conceives, she’ll have a boy.  When the man has more fun, she’ll have a girl.  We are a family FULL of girls 8 girls, 2 boys of the grandchildren.  My cousin assured her that she had a great time and pointed out that Granny has 2 sons.  Granny said, “I sure do!”  You could hear the wink. 

We laughed so much yesterday listening to her tell us what she really thinks about us all.  She was telling the nurse about what we cook that she likes.  This one makes this, that one makes that, etc.  When she got to my uncle, she said he makes filet mignon because he thinks he’s rich!  She also called him the biggest rat in the barn.  Does anybody know what that phrase means?  We thought it meant he was the oldest, but I was scared to ask her.

I also learned another term, “mother wit”.  She said her mother had mother wit.  She knew how to teach her girls what they needed to know to be successful women.  She is one of 12, only 4 girls (I guess her mom was having a good time too!).  She said her mother told her that all of the girls had sense except her.  She told us the story of a gentleman caller coming to the house warming his hands in front of the fireplace.  He told my grandmother that his hands would warm up faster if he put them between her legs.  So she said she went, “Bloop”.  That was the sound she associated with flinging her legs wide open.  She said the next thing she knows her mom slapped her legs closed so hard it left a hand print.  Told her she didn’t have good sense.  Granny told her mother that she had always told her to believe the truth and “his hands were cold!”

This was non-stop yesterday.  We were all relieved to see her in good spirits.  We can tell she is concerned about her condition.  She’s trying to push her PT way too fast.  She’s holding her left arm up with the right and telling it to “stay up”.  That breaks my heart, but at the same time it shows me she’s a fighter.  She looked at me yesterday and said, “I’m going to live and I didn’t have the stroke they say I had.”  Whatever you say Granny, because you are certainly a fighter and in charge of your destiny.  Who can argue with that?

She also told us that she was planning to show up at all of our 90th birthday parties to surprise us all.  I SO believe her! 

Creating the Life I Want

I have had a nearly perfect weekend. One reason it’s been great, that you’ll notice immediately, is that I have had time to blog. That’s always a good thing. Also, the fairies (read: cleaning service) came on Thursday, so all I had to do this weekend was buy groceries and cook. Both are activities I love almost as much as…breathing. They are especially enjoyable when someone else had already cleaned my kitchen and emptied the dishwasher. Amen.

Basically I have walked around the lake, eaten, read, relaxed, gotten my taxes done, drunk lots of water, done yoga, meditated, read some more and gone to Border’s to buy more books to read. And had sushi — that is an event unto itself. The only thing missing is having great sex. Any takers?

I have been thinking a lot about the subject of my last post, the password protected one. I really feel drawn to a much simpler lifestyle. Where I land may not be too much different than the lifestyle I’m currently living (which is pretty modest, don’t be fooled by the fairies), but it is in sharp contrast with the trajectory I started with this new job. Read all up in between those lines so I don’t have to password protect this post too. OK?

I am just convinced that this crazy hustle and bustle, trying to get ahead, dollar-chasing American lifestyle is not the one for which I am destined. I need time to be, to be still, to reflect, to read, to learn, to eat good homemade food sllllllooooooowwwwwwlllllllyyyyyyy. Do you know what I mean? I need time to walk in the park, hike in the mountains, learn to play my guitar so that I can hear my chords echo through those majestic mountains. I need time to cuddle with a doggie and play fetch with him by the lake. I need time to fall in love again and explore what it means to be in a relationship and be independent at the same time. I need time to be pregnant and experience the wonder of life growing inside of me — or not. I need time to decide if, instead of pregnancy, I want to love a child who’s already here and alone and longing to be chosen. I need time to enjoy my relationships with my parents who I can see getting older by the day. Why have we created lives for ourselves that don’t leave any time for — living?

I am having a great time reading a bunch of different perspectives on life and God and spirituality and why we’re here and where we’re going and such. The most enjoyable aspect of this journey has been noticing all of the points at which these ideas, philosophies, metaphors, institutions, religions, etc. intersect and say essentially the same things. I have so much I want to read. Here’s what I’m currently, simultaneously reading:

  • Philosophies of India, by Heinrich Zimmer
  • Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
  • Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice, by Christy Turlington
  • Mama, by Terry McMillan
  • The Complete Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, by Neal Donald Walsch

And here’s what’s in the queue:

  • How to Know God, Deepak Chopra
  • The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
  • A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
  • In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan
  • Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra
  • The Third Jesus, Deepak Chopra
  • The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
  • Disappearing Acts, Terry McMillan
  • Snakes and Earrings, Hitomi Kanehara
  • The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Pilot’s Wife, Anita Shreve
  • Healing Love through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, Mantak Chia

I’m too lazy today to link all of those to Amazon.com. Copy and paste as much as you want if you want to know about any of those.

Needless to say, I need more time to do the things in life I really want to do. I need to find a way to make that happen. And I will find it. So many spiritual perspectives in the world support the notion that we already know all we need to know, we just have to learn to settle ourselves and listen to the truth within us. Though they call this process different things, the idea is still the same: in the stillness and the silence we find wisdom and truth.

The thought of a month at an ashram in upstate New York, or some similar retreat in the Pacific Northwest sound really appealing right now. Such an experience, however, should not be a decision made by impulse. I’m trying to contain my impulses…but I’ve already priced out one of the options.

Have a good week, Lovelies.

Do we choose our lives or do our lives choose us?

I had a really bad day Sunday. I was bombarded with a lot of negative energy at work associated with my new position. It was a very important and telling situation for me to experience.

I used to be a tough girl and pretend like what people thought and said about me didn’t bother me. I wasn’t surprised Sunday to realize that things like that affect me as much as they do the next person, but I was surprised by my response to it all.

I have become very attuned to what my body is telling me. I am beginning to be able to feel where certain emotions or energy take up residence in my body. I notice when I am carrying tension in my shoulders and neck, in my brow, in my bowels (tee hee — read Debbie for reference), in my jaw or wherever. I have become very intolerant of negative energy taking up residence within me. I walked through the door from a staff retreat determined to rid my body of the tense, ugly negative sensations so that I could sleep peacefully. Through a combination of focused breathing, meditation, prayer, deep relaxation techniques, venting, a couple of tears, a hot water bottle on my belly to help release the bad energy I felt there and affirmation (especially the “Our Deepest Fear” affirmation), I was able to sleep peacefully. I woke up the next morning and took inventory of my body and the negative energy was gone. I went to work the next day and the first person I saw was one of the chief culprits. She was just there to me. I felt nothing negative but nothing warm either–she was just there.

I learned a valuable lesson about this. I am responsible for how other people’s behavior affects me. I have a choice about it and therefore, I am responsible to protect my well-being. I don’t have to let other people’s jealousy, pettiness, insanity or whatever take me off course and make me sick. Stress kills, People. I was happy about making a conscious choice in the interest of my mental and physical health. It was such a far cry from pretending like it the things didn’t affect me. They did affect me. But I realized through that situation my power to create my own reality.

The truth is, I had a hand in creating the reality that led to all the negativity in the first place. Someone whose ideas I value considerably has tried to help me understand my role in creating all of my experiences. It’s been hard to wrap my head around my role in creating the situations I call bad, but I could really see it in this situation. I allowed the type of negative things that were said to me about me to be said about others in my office. By choosing to participate in and not stop those occurrences, I created a climate for the dung to be slung my way. I own that. I probably had an even more direct hand in it because I expected this to happen. Do we really draw the things to us that we dwell upon? Or, do we attract the very things we fear? I think we do.

What do you think?

P.S. I also noticed that I didn’t choose the role of “victim” in this situation. That’s huge for me.

Let’s talk about this. What do you guys think?