Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Once More, Into the Breach

The Universe has come around and roadblocks have unblocked themselves, as they always do.

My inner Ganesh has graced me with the ability to recognize my own obstacles and how I build them even higher when I can't see a way over.

It has been a wild few months of uncertainty, shedding of the old skin, growing of the new skin, reconnection with things that are essential and turning my back on things that are not.

My ability to say "no" and to not carry other people's baggage became supremely important during this time of evolution for me.  I don't apologize for making people unhappy because of it.

I just don't have the patience to parent grown-ups. I'm happy to walk side by side but not to carry.

Be that as it may, I go once more into the breach. Into the unknown and into the path less travelled.

This means wonderful things for me: new job, new home, new city.  This is a path that has been 5 years in the coming and I get to keep the very best of my old life: my partner, my dog and my belief in myself.

It's not easy to leave. It's not easy to shed, pack up, start fresh and jump into the breach - again.

But you know what? Rebirth isn't just for newborns. Rebirth is a gift we can give ourselves.

I'm looking so forward to breathing my first breaths in my new life and to dipping my toes in an ocean of new.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Reconnecting the Body Disconnect

Over my lifetime I have been friend and foe to my body.

I think I have been more of a friend to my body since my major injury and back surgery put me in the hospital and I learned to marvel at the wonders my body had to heal itself and carry me through all that pain and lack of strength.

The odd thing was, I didn't really "move" at all for 2 weeks, lying in my hospital bed on "do not move" orders from the surgeon and I lost 20lbs. My body just shed weight.  I actually ate more food and lost weight.

Why? How? I was stressed before I made it to hospital. I was in a great deal of pain that I couldn't manage. My body was broken and I couldn't fix it.  I put on weight for 6 weeks before I was taken to hospital in the ambulance.

So how did I lose 20lbs while lying in a hospital bed, ostensibly only burning calories through sleep and lifting my arms to feed myself?  I think it was because I wasn't stressed. I knew that I was in the hospital, my pain was fully and completely managed and I was going to have surgery to fix my busted spine.  I had nothing to worry about.  My cortisol levels decreased dramatically and I shed unnecessary weight.

I have discovered that whenever I'm feeling stressed - and I focus on the FEELING part - that I gain weight.  I could be working out more, swimming more, eating less, being more busy and I will still gain weight.  As soon as I feel pressure, stress, insecurity for any reason, my body goes to work preparing for uncertainty and famine by storing excess energy.

I don't tell it to, it just goes ahead and watches my back that way.

I have inherited a genotype and phenotype that must have been ridiculously advantageous in the Evolutionary Environment where my human ancestors won the natural selection war by storing energy as soon as the environmental pressures indicated change or stress.  My genetic lineage has been finely honed to survive harsh winters, lean times, times of uncertainty and food insecurity.

Only problem is, I'm living in 2011 and not 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.

I have found that when I'm feeling stress, I disconnect from my body awareness.  My animal brain busies  itself with the task of keeping me alive during a crisis while I focus on the stress.

When I wake up from my disconnect I have inevitably gained an unwanted 20lbs and rail against my body for being so damned efficient.  This only serves to disconnect me even further from my body.

My amazing body keeps me breathing, keeps my heart beating, heals itself when I break it, keeps going when I don't want to any more and puts up with any manner of tortures I decide to put it through.

I get angry at my body for doing what it has been genetically hardwired to do, for MY survival, over millennia of trial and error and genetic mutation and adaptation.

I have decided I must be mindful of my body and not just my mind. Though I live fully in my mind when I'm experiencing stress and my cortisol levels shoot through the roof, triggering my energy storage, I must stop and think of what this does to my body and how I punish it for doing it's job.

I'm not going to punish myself or my body for being so efficient in the face of perceived physical, emotional or resource danger.  I just have to figure out how to take back the reigns, relax into knowing everything is going to be ok and let my body feel that too.

I have to reconnect to that hospital bed, to the feeling of being totally safe and taken care of....even when the sheep dip is hitting the fan.

Photo of Venus courtesy of Clarita at www.everystockphoto.com see further work at http://claranatoli.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 13, 2011

Movin' On

You know what? It's time for you to get over it and move on.

Life isn't a dress rehearsal, it's "go" time all the time.  You missed that memo?

As adults we don't often get do-overs or backsies.  Those happen on the elementary school playground, not in adult life.

He isn't a Wagon Wheel you trade up for.

Didn't see that before hand?

Suck it up.

You had your chance.  You had lots of chances.  You took them and wasted them.  Now you regret it.

So regret it.

You still love him?  That's great, because he's definitely worth it.

You wasted the greatest gift of all...you wasted his love for you.

You made all those moves and all those choices as an adult.  You can't blame anyone but yourself.

Your regret doesn't change  that you helped him fall out of love with you, little by little.  You broke his heart moment by moment so that by the time he physically left you, his heart wasn't in residence there anymore.

That's a shame. But it's done.

Suck it up.  Be a grown up. Own your part in it.

Love him.  Then let him go.

Because he's gone already.

Your guilt-trip riddled, poor-me, boo hoo thing is tiresome.

You know what? We're over it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Between an Obstacle, a Roadblock and a Ganesh

Obstacles, Roadblocks and Detours surround me at the moment.  I haven't figured out why, but their presence is undeniable.

I had a mini-revelation yesterday, that my obstacles are stubborn like an elephant...which lead me to an image of the Hindu God, Ganesh - Lord of Success, Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles.

Can someone be both the source of, and the remover of, an obstacle? I think it's the same question about the devine residing both within you and being you.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end", or so the saying goes.

If I could just "see" the new beginning, I'd feel more confident in my ability to climb over the obstacles, roadblocks and detours.

Time to source out my own, inner Ganesh.

Image of Ganesha courtesy of marcuso and www.freedigitalphotos.net (see marcuso's digital gallery page here)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Stasis as:
: a slowing or stoppage of the normal flow of a bodily fluid or semifluid: as a : slowing of the current of circulating blood b : reduced motility of the intestines with retention of feces
a : a state of static balance or equilibrium : stagnation b : a state or period of stability during which little or no evolutionary change in a lineage occur.

That's where I am. I'm in stasis.  I have stalled. I am in career and personal stagnation. I'm not evolving. I'm not growing. 

I'm not gaining any "experience" because you have to be hired to get experience but you can't get hired because you don't have the arbitrary numerical cutoff of requisite experience.  I am caught in an economic and job-related snake that eats it's own tail.  I am in a circular life event.

At least whirlpools eventually lead to the bottom of the ocean.  This is like being in a vacuum.
Did I put myself here? No.  At least, I don't think I did...but it seems as though the Universe has been hard at work realigning my footsteps so that I would wobble and fall off the path I had just found.

I thought I was past this point of groping in the dark, self-discovery, reinvention and perpetual striving to keep afloat.   

I have done everything right and I still find myself in the 99th percentile of my definition of success.

I know what I want. Stagnation isn't it. STASIS isn't it.

I feel like I'm staring at the sun, willing it to move.


What do I want?

I want a career where I make a difference to the health of the population of my province.  I want the opportunity to give back and make lives better, healthier, longer, add life to years as well as years to life.

I want to move to the Island and live in Sooke.  I want that before the close of 2011.

I want to feel like I have something to hold onto; something solid.  Not a person, but something I made.  

I want the sun to get the hell out of my way, because the more the Universe says no, the more entrenched I'm getting.

I want coaches and Pollyanna's to shove it.  I don't need sunshine and rainbows and cheers and smiley faces.  

I want opportunities for change. I want clear direction. I want a career that I busted my butt for, to start.

I want to be able to take myself and my partner on a well-deserved vacation - not to a free forestry camp site somewhere, but in another country, on another continent.

I tell you what...stasis can take a long walk off a short cliff into the Georgia Strait as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blockages, Roadblocks & Detours Build a Little Birdhouse In My Mind...

They have moved in; all three of them.  I didn't really prepare the guest room for them, but they've made themselves comfortable.  Looks like they will be here for a while.

All the best laid plans and education in the world can't prepare you for the kick to the pills that comes when the potential dream job for which you interviewed, email breaks up with you.

It's just so harsh. So cold. So digital for this analog heart...

All those dreams and imaginings of joyfully sharing the world that you traded up. Dreams of telling E.I. that you just don't need their help anymore.  Dreams of packing up and moving away to start the career you should have had from the start.  Dreams of showing that you got up, brushed off the humiliation of being laid-off from your FIRST dream job and went out there and did one better...they all got tossed out of my mind the moment I read the potential dream job break-up email.

Then? Vacuum...followed by the sounds of mini saws, hammers and steel toed boots constructing the official offices of Blockages, Roadblocks and Universal Detours.

They have moved in and built that little birdhouse in my mind.

I hope they don't poop on my head EVERY day.

There's a song for that (thanks to They Might Be Giants)...

Friday, April 15, 2011

In advance of butterfuly vomitus...

In advance of what might become a major turning point in my life, the life of my partner AND our dog's life, I'd like to thank the Universe.

That is, I'd like to thank the Universe in advance of anything...well...that might make me seem silly over the next few days.

I have a tendency to get silly when I am nervous. I smile a lot more. I laugh for seemingly, no good reason.  It gets awkward.  I'm kinda like a socially inappropriate chimpanzee.   I'll blame my genetic linkage to my chimpanzee cousins what with 96% of human DNA being identical to that of the chimpanzee.  

Human origins...whatcha gonna do?  Thanks for that, too Universe.

I promise not to start chucking rocks or fecal matter.  Cross my heart.  You can thank the Universe for that.

But holy smokes, am I nervous.  As a matter of fact, I think there could be butterfly vomitus (thanks Melissa, for the visual).  I imagine it would resemble a rainbow. A rainbow with wings...and antennae. 

I have to pick out clothes that can hide said butterfly vomitus.  What's the best kind of gum to chew when your breath smells like butterflies?  Something colourful, to hide the stains.

I thank the Universe for colourful, fruity gum. I thank the Universe for stain resistant, modern fibers. I thank the Universe for teaching me how to twirl a pen and bob my foot...so I can be nervous AND have a couple of "ticks" to fall back upon.

I thank the Universe for sending me on this journey of opportunity, no matter what happens. 

Just think of me as Unervous in the Universe. With rainbow butterfly wings on my tongue.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Above & Beyond

I don't think a single person that I have spoken with in the past week has come away unaffected by the events unfolding in Japan's north eastern region after the devastating double tap of a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Sendai.

I have had to limit my own access to information and news in an effort to maintain some positivity, some perspective.

I am, by nature, a "doer".  I DO things.  If I see someone in need, I help.  Watching footage from Japan has left me feeling helpless, unable to DO anything, ultimately ineffectual.

The most I could do immediately following the tsunami, was to donate what I could to the Red Cross  but that left me feeling so distant, so removed and more like a person who tosses coins to the homeless than a person who builds a home for the homeless.

As the crisis in Japan further unfolds into potential nuclear disaster after the rods in reactor's #3 & #4 are left largely un-cooled, the entire world has become gripped with fear - seemingly frozen in disbelief and developing panic.

In spite of this fear, panic and surrounding tragedy, my heart is lifted by the humanity being shown by people all over Japan and the world.  People are coming together to do something MORE, something above and beyond.

The 50 TEPCO employees now referred to as the the Fukushima 50 (#fukushima50 on Twitter) are facing injury, illness and possible death while they scramble to rehabilitate the overheating reactor cores and restore power and cooling systems in order to avert nuclear disaster.  These people, these 50 people, out of a world population of over 6 billion, are doing what each of us cannot.  Ultimate sacrifices for their people, their country and their planet.  My heart soars and sinks at the same time.

At the same time that this massive human tragedy has occurred, there has also been a massive animal tragedy. The video of a dog that wouldn't leave it's injured dog companion in the aftermath of the tsunami, leaves an indelible imprint on an animal-lover's heart.  Pets, our beloved animals, are going above and beyond.

Pets - beloved dogs and cats have been killed, injured, abandoned and lost in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami devastated areas of Japan's north east.  World Vets are mobilizing to Japan in order to provide veterinary care to these same animals and they need donations to make that rescue & care possible.  Vets are going above and beyond.

While all of these selfless people (and even animals) are going above and beyond, we here in North America are surrounded by individuals focused on the panic, on self-preservation and activation based on mis-information and half-truths.  Spending hard-earned money snapping up iodized salt and Potassium Iodide pills from profiteers on eBay is insulting in the face of total devastation, ultimate loss and uncertainty in Japan.

It is times such as these, when it is for Humanity to come together, to perform as a Gestalt, to be more than the sum of it's parts.  It is times such as these, when Humanity MUST go above and beyond.

Stop glaring at CNN.  Stop gobbling up disinformation, half-truths and poor scientific interpretation.  Get off the couch and go above and beyond for the people and animals of Japan.

One day, it could be you needing to lean on Humanity's great shoulder.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Private Painter, a Painter for Money

Suddenly, I find myself a painter. A private painter. A painter for money. I'll paint what you want me to paint a la Tina Turner (but without the hot legs with restless leg syndrome).

What started out at painting something fun for a friend and being paid for supplies has suddenly become painting pet portraits and commissions.

Who saw this coming?  I didn't see this coming.  My dog probably did see it coming but got distracted by the red ball before he could give me the heads-up.

Now I have to figure out Paypal, buy supplies and get myself a shop on eBay.

Heaven preserve us. 

Note - I will not, under any circumstances - paint a velvet Elvis or flowery vulvas.

I'm not that kind of desperately out of work Gerontologist.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

...And Lo, There Was Disorientation

How does that quote go?  "Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the fire hydrant"? 

It's my turn to be the fire hydrant.

Two weeks ago this coming Monday, I was laid off from what I thought was my dream job.  A divine opportunity to develop as a professional.  A chance to really make a difference and create a niche for myself.  A chance to use all of the education and training I have gathered.

It really WAS that job.

Until it wasn't.

Now, I'm in that limbo.  That place of uncertainty where you question how you made yourself so expendable, so non-essential, so lay-offable.

It's in this limbo space that I find my self bruised and constantly checking out the corner of my eye for the next kick in the pants.  This experience has made me anxious - not just about now - but about the future.  I feel unsteady, like I'm standing on ground in the midst of a liquifaction.

With this unsteadiness, I find myself forced to look at pages where "experts" tell me how to buck up and suck it up and move on.  Sites which try to coach me.

Right now, I don't want a coach, I want a job.  I don't just want ANY job, I want a job where I use my education - all three degrees. 

I want a job where I count.  Where I make a difference.  Where I'm valued for my contribution.  Where I'm necessary.  Where I'm included.  Where I'm part of the future.

In the meantime, I'm hanging out with my dog.  He doesn't judge me.  To him, I count, make a difference, I'm valued, I'm necessary and I'm part of his future.

I'm no fire hydrant to my dog.