Thanks – 4 of 21

  1. Good friends for J5
  2. Catching a couple of quick geocaches after lunch
  3. People in the world like Eldad Hagar and Lisa Arturo

(I’m sorely tempted to list J4 and J5 as my first two items every day, but let’s just proceed with the knowledge that they top the list and the rest of these are technically 3, 4, and 5…)

What are you afraid of?

Fallacy, by September Sky

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
– Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

What do I want most in life? To be rid of the fear that is not warranted. To take on those huge, lurking, smoky, eerie, creepy, debilitating, elusive but ever present bastards and eliminate them.

So, the best way for me to proceed is to just turn on the light and start naming names. In no particular order, the following things are things that strike fear in my heart – warranted or not:

  • The condemnation of others
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Wasted time and effort
  • Being invisible
  • Being ineffective
  • Being unheard
  • Being wrong
  • Making a wrong move
  • Getting “it” wrong
  • Discovering I’ve been believing a lie
  • The widespread lack of listening and empathy “out there”
  • The idea that I’m one of the adults running the world now
  • Exercise – and the fact I need it to live and still fear it
  • Being a doormat
  • Not being able to stand up and speak up when things are not ok
  • Being angry
  • Being agitated
  • …to be continued…

When I saw this video for the first time this morning I realized that there are times you have to let go and release a fear, and then other times you have to just grab that hatchet and go KICK its ASS!!

Pursuit of Actual Communication


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

I just read a great post on Ello (via @budnitz) that talked about fear. Feeling it, and getting back to work. I find that a large percentage of my fear is of communication. The unpredictability of others in response to my attempts at communication often causes me to err on the side of silence.

Where this causes me a lot of trouble is in the assumption of others that my silence (or lack of rebuttal) indicates assent, when my listening and nodding actually is to acknowledge the receipt of the information they are trying convey.

What I would like, of course, is for everyone else to change for me! I would like to be ASKED what I think, and listened to while I carefully formulate a response. I would like to not have to push through this wall of fear of having and expressing an opinion that may or may not be received well.

Since I am the only person I can actually change, it’s time to push through the fear of the permanence of words and allow myself to try them out more often. I believe actual communication can change lives. It’s worth pursuing.


Points to Ponder

Random thoughts this evening:

Boundaries are essential to health. Know them. Establish them. Protect them. They make life so much better.

Intuitive Eating. A new pursuit with nothing to report except I’m well on my way to figuring out what I like and don’t. And the simple act of blogging about it is a trigger that I plan to stay far from in the near future.

I’m madly in love with two people. One I have been married to for almost 19 years, and the other I gave birth to almost 9 years ago. I am so very fortunate, and wise, and proud. I have chosen well, and love much.

Genuine friendships are extremely rare. I don’t have a lot of excess time, nor emotional energy to invest in extraneous friendships. I am realizing I do need more time with those few of great quality and can allow myself to let go of the ones that only drain emotional resources without ever giving enough of a shit to “give back”.

And finally, sleep is so necessary. At night I seem to completely forget that. So now I close…


This Week’s Favorites – August 29, 2014 Edition

Random tidbits of articles, tweets, media, etc., that I found particularly good for any number of reasons this week. It will be rather eclectic, but, hey, it’s my brain!

Religion, Food, and Freedom

I’ve been going through a time of letting go. Some pretty hefty dropping of the baggage. My friend Beth refers to it as a “wiping of the chalkboard”.

My thoughts aren’t clear, but some correlations are appearing. If I wait until I have exactly what I want to say, I’ll probably be on my deathbed, so…bear with me as I start to make some sketches.

I’ve completely let go of religion. I don’t consider myself affiliated with any religious institution whatsoever. A few weeks or so ago, I would have said I’ve let go of Christianity and even of a belief in God. That may be the case, but I think it would be more accurate to say I’m solidly in the “I don’t know” camp regarding God’s existence.

The joy of being me is that I can change my mind at ANY TIME I SO CHOOSE. I have been so afraid of speaking my mind on these things, for fear of others’ opinions and views of who I am, and what my changing thoughts are, that it was affecting my exploration of my own heart and mind. Not good.

So for now, I’m going to share my thoughts without regard to you, the reader. [If you are worried for my soul, please don't be. If you are ok with hearing me tell the truth, feel free to ask questions - just don't feel the need to try to persuade me from my current path. You aren't me. And I've decided to stop "looking for myself outside of myself" :) . That's not to say I'm not interested in hearing about you, and what you believe, and why -- but I'm just not open to being "schooled" or "witnessed to" or "saved" from anything.]

Moving on.

Food. What a long and sordid history I have had with eating, and food, and dieting. It actually parallels my struggles with belief, and spirituality, and religion. In a lot of pretty intense ways.

I am currently reading (and listening to) Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

What I’m coming to see / feel / understand is that I have had an inherent distrust of everything I do. Somewhere along the way, I picked up this idea that if it comes from me (a thought, a desire, an instinct) that it’s likely wrong, or selfish, or sinful. Time to shed that too.

I am seeing correlations between a legalistic mindset in religion and pretty much all diets. And to add insult to injury, I managed to be very visibly, but painfully temporarily, successful using a religious diet plan that REALLY screwed me up regarding God and food and me. It had just enough of a nugget of truth to resonate with me, but then such an insidious message of our worthlessness that I ate myself right into hell.

What I am feeling most right now is relief. A sense of freedom. Hope. Hope that I can stop this conflict between me and myself. Hope that I can build some trust. Trust in my ability to listen to my heart, listen to my body, listen to my mind and make good choices based on what I hear. Sounds simple doesn’t it? I think it is. It’s time to disregard the fear and say “HUSH” to the critical voices that used to drive me to perfectionism. To let go, and listen, and trust.


On Racism

I’m not sure how to even begin to put words on the page about what has been happening in Ferguson, MO.

As I have followed the live Twitter feeds of people who have been there and are there right now, I have been horrified by the things that people are sharing of what they have experienced.

After watching a few of the witness testimonies, I don’t understand how people can listen to the outright lies certain networks are spewing just to make people feel better, so they can close the case in their minds and move on to the next thing.

I am scared for the direction of our country. I continually read satire posts that I can’t tell from the real thing. (See Poe’s Law.) I just read one satire post showing how we would write about what has been happening in Ferguson if it was happening in a foreign country. It was pretty condemning. What have we become?

We give our small towns leftover military vehicles? Ones meant for warfare? How is this a wise thing?

We talk about placing armed guards in front of our grade schools? How can a higher number of guns be safer? Didn’t we spend the 80s terrified of the arms race and somehow because we had achieved “mutually assured destruction” that made it better? And now we think that doing the same thing at a much less controllable, individual, level this somehow keeps us safer?

Ultimately, I’m just writing this to try to clarify my own perspective. It’s not black and white (you know what I mean!). There are so many different sides to this, it’s mind blowing.

I am heartbroken.
I am scared.
I am sad.

Racism is huge and cancerous, with deep, deep roots that will not be easy to cut and extricate. Sometimes I wonder if it’s even possible, and if it is, how I can possibly make a difference.

I can connect more deliberately with my neighbors of color.

I can speak up and against instances when I see casual and offhand racism happening.

I can be more educated and vary my sources of news, listening to more than a monochromatic and familiar echo chamber of voices, in places like Facebook and Twitter.

I can let myself be heartbroken, and not run from the discomfort when faced with story after story of pain being caused out of habit and lack of awareness.

I can be aware of, and grateful for, the privilege I do have, through no merit of my own.

I can consciously choose to raise my son with a respect for all human life, and the rights and responsibilities that go with it. [This blog post. Seriously.]

I may not be able to change the world, but it’s really important to me that I don’t just block out the things that are unpleasant or uncomfortable, but see reality, be cognizant of my choices, and speak up for what’s right when I am able to do so.