my i have just come thru a bit of a dizzying week. certainly the pivotal phrase is come thru- and there’s a glass full of grateful waiting for me to offer the sun goddess this weekend.
i had lunch with a gaggle of gay guys and i dropped my theory about addiction in gay men and the infestation of shame based trauma in our modern culture. we grow up feeling wrong, and dirty, and unlovable and struggle as adults shaking off those self-loathing ghosts. numbing out positions itself as our “man friday” in oh so many cases. sadly though, as in my case, we place ourselves in positions (both physical and emotional) to become vulnerable to physical and emotional maladies- including personality disorders and hiv/hcv which often leads to more intense numbing… and on and on. as i soul mined for a deeper truth with these men in their myriad states of rebuild, sharing poached salmon with cucumber and dill and penne salad with veggies and pesto, i hoped that an appetite was being created too.
turns out that my acquaintance i had approached about collaboration has been less than honest about his relationship with bedbugs (my new nickname for meth). there was an arrest, a phone conversation with his mother followed by 2 voice messages same day upon release. neutrality may slowly becoming more second nature, but it has not yet become my super hero costume- although i have had a hankering for wearing a cape lately. i am still affected by the people in my life. thankfully though, i am far more unflinching and take things less personally. on the flipside, i hope i am becoming a more solid confidante.
there is an inference in the aa story that life can do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. when i actually do take a moment to “zoom out”, it is clear that this is a complete reflection of my truth. i have moments of contentment based solely on lack of want- which is not a lifetime experience. maybe i felt it before self-medication, but it was certainly overshadowed by the consistent and turbulent flooding of dopamine in my head.
will be headed to idaho springs tomorrow for a family thing. a cousin and her family are in town from nebraska. am taking slow roasted cherry tomatoes w/cambozola and fresh basil to spread on italian bread. and i am gonna try to make fresh strawberry lemonade slushees w/mint. i am keenly aware that the cooking and serving aspect of this getaway are the real motivator. without them, i would stay home.
went to see the new “star trek” last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it (in 3d). it is uncanny how charming it is to watch alien creatures struggle with their human characteristics. and such a metaphor. and what fun to watch captain kirk with the same adulation (ahem) i had for the 1st screen version of the same character. and i have come to have a renewed admiration for the color chartreuse-especially contrasted with cornflower blue and berry red.
and it is very near to the turn of yet another season. i have started cardio classes again- after a 9 month hiatus-in the hopes of dropping the kangaroo pouch. plus the adrenaline and endorphins have an affect.
i am pretty sure that i am looking around for options as i have presently in the process of applying for a new position. i stumbled across a career horoscope reading and found it hopeful that it advised looking outside my immediate sphere for options. i have felt i might need to do this anyway for a variety of reasons, however there is that inner-critic that tells me i can’t get anything else and i need to hold on to what i have.
coincidentally, i have put out a couple of feelers and do have an idea or two. i think though that it is important for me to exercise my brain in this way. otherwise i remain stuck.
Dot your i’s and cross your t’s during mercury retrograde
so i came across this german ensemble named “lovebirds” on beatport. they are so house-y and i swim easily in house music. always have. there is a much more popular version featuring stee downes, but i like this version, too. it’s a little more pared down. when i am inside house music, i find drama, rhythm, melody, percussion, harmony, playfulness, and color- all of which really make my heart smile. here’s to making good decisions. bon weekend 🙂
Well of course I forgive her
Oh please Lord deliver me
I’m never alone won’t you please be near
I know that darkness before the dawn
Tomorrow’s coming and yesterday’s gone..
strangely, i have been entranced by everything roller boogie this last week. i do feel empathy for my facebook friends because they endure all the crazy posts i slam to satisfy my obsession. linda blair, patrick swayze whip it, roller derby, roller disco, even gene kelly tap dancing with roller skates. it has been (like most weeks) a fashion and an escape for me. i have re-introduced myself to a fad and had fun researching and remembering and connecting some dots. i think one of my favorites that i rediscovered was the recent film roll bounce. the skating scenes and the characters are so very like-able.
so this week the fad has been roller boogie. i have enmeshed myself with 70’s funk and disco and revisited almost every roller skating film. and i’ll leave you with a scene from roll bounce. hava damn fine weekend..
i got calls from two of my dear friends today and both seemed to be swept up in a storm of harsh self-judgement. they did not sound at all happy and they seemed a bit untethered.
the first was describing his inability to get out of bed some days and has been feeling lost and disconnected for some time. i honestly think i could sense the hidden anger over the phone. i offered the idea of a medication and a provider which he had been considering. i also insisted he try to incorporate some loving-kindness into his day. the idea of loving-kindness can be the most challenging to give to ourselves. this is an awareness i have much personal experience. and it continues to baffle me some days.
so i asked him to breathe in loving-kindness for himself with each in breath. on the out breath he could offer loving kindness to the rest of the world who suffered as he did today. i don’t know if he engaged in it, but i felt sure it moved his understanding of his situation a little. or at least i hope so.
then another friend called and began to unravel some thoughts she was having about her life on this holiday. she had gone into the field to visit someone before court tomorrow and was about to write up a report. she was lamenting about her untidy home, her inability to keep track of everything, and her imperfections were laid out like hot coals she was forcing herself to walk across.
i reminded her that she is far from faulted. she is a single mother of 2 boys, works full time, has a house, was a caretaker for her ailing uncle, sponsors newbies, and still makes time to criticize herself. i offered her the idea of loving-kindness as well. it seemed so apropos. maybe she could take a walk and breathe in some loving kindness for herself, and then breathe out loving kindness for the rest of the world that was suffering as she was today.
tonglen- the practice of giving and receiving is a practice of balance that has found its way into my life’s toolbelt. somehow it always reminds me that i am not as alone as i think i am. giving is always a gift and receiving becomes more of one each time. today was a shining example of this. it was a good day.
reprinted from naljorprisondharmaservice
personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.
In Tonglen practice, through our compassion, we take on (embrace without resistance) the various sufferings of all beings: their fear, hurt, frustration, pain, anger, guilt, bitterness, loneliness, doubt, rage, and so forth. In return, we give them our loving-kindness, happiness, peace of mind, well-being, healing, and fulfillment.
1) Sit quietly, calm the mind, and center yourself. Reflect on the immense suffering that all beings everywhere experience. Allow their suffering to open your heart and awaken your compassion. You may also choose to invoke the presence of all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and enlightened beings, so that through their inspiration and blessing, compassion may be born in your heart. In this way, you are resting in bodhicitta—the enlightened nature of the mind. Bodhicitta, is an inexhaustible source of purity, generosity, and compassion.
2) Imagine in front of you, as clearly as possible, someone you care for who is suffering. Although this may be more challenging, you may also imagine someone you feel indifferent toward, someone you consider to be an enemy, or those who have hurt you or others. Open yourself to this person’s suffering. Allow yourself to feel connected with him or her, aware of their difficulties, pain, and distress. Then, as you feel your heart opening in compassion toward the person, imagine that all of his or her suffering comes out and gathers itself into a mass of hot, black, grimy smoke.
3) Now, visualize breathing in this mass of black smoke, seeing it dissolve into the very core of your self-grasping (ego) at your heart center. There in your heart, it completely destroys all traces of fear and selfishness (self-cherishing) and purifies all of your negative karma.
4) Imagine, now that your fear, self-centeredness and negative karma has been completely destroyed, your enlightened heart (bodhicitta) is fully revealed. As you breathe out, imagine you are sending out the radiance of loving-kindness, compassion, peace, happiness, and well-being to this person. See this brilliant radiance purifying all of their negative karma. Send out any feelings that encourage healing, relaxation, and openness.
5) Continue this “giving and receiving” with each breath for as long as you wish. At the end of your practice, generate a firm inner conviction that this person has been freed of suffering and negative karma and is filled with peace, happiness and well-being. You may also wish to dedicate the merit and virtue of your practice to the benefit of all sentient beings.
we have had almost a full week of rain and have been foretold of another week of the same. luckily, today is full of blue skies. my lilacs are in full splendor and the hydrangeas and rose of sharon have begun to spread their wings. i just put out geraniums for the summer- red ones this year.
i am slowly realizing that all this crazy i have felt this last couple of years is not that unusual. i keep hearing others share about their insanity well into their sobriety. this is honestly reassuring. i am already feeling less crazy.
while working with a group on friday, we did an exercise which consisted of listed ten tiny changes that we want to make in our lives. and then we are to make one of those changes our homework. i have chosen mine and am restructuring balance.
i have helped begin a new process with hep-c testing at my workplace and am excited about it. we interface with more than 400 iv drug users daily and about 80 percent of those are infected and we get new folks weekly. so some prevention and linkage to care is in order.
btw, the pricing of the new hep-c drugs coming down the pipeline seems completely outrageous. when i consider the quarterly profits for the pharma (and chevron for that matter) and compare them to the national deficit, i feel sickened. so many subsidies and so much lobbying from those profits. no doubt the boards of directors are patriotic americans who are supporting the office of the president to the best of their abilities.
colin farrell in a remake of “fright night”? … i am so there…
the reunion of justin timberlake and andy samberg (dick in a box) was worth the wait. i am still laughing about snl’s lovely gift.
Think of all the things we could have had
Love is an ocean that I can’t forget
My sweet sixteen I would never regret