Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book I'm Reading

I wanted to let you all know what I've been working on/reading lately. Hopefully I'll get around to posting a review to this book, but right now I'm only doing a chapter a day so it might be a while.

A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever

I got in Border's going-out-of-business book sale for like $5, but it looks like Amazon has it fairly cheap, and even free if you have a Kindle or want to download it electronically. There is also a supporting website that you can browse here if you like.

I wanted to let you all know about this book now instead of when I finished it, just in case there was anyone out there who is struggling to lose weight that just will not budge, no matter what you try. There may be some underlying issues you need to deal with first.

Personally, I am using the book to help bring my relationship with food back into the "healthy" status. I'm still having issues with bingeing (although big bags of chips are now forbidden in my apartment) and so far this book has really opened up my eyes to a few things. 

If you are struggling with a food addiction, or life trauma that has resulted in a serious weight gain, I highly recommend you try this book. In fact, she assumes to some extent that many of her readers are dealing with old traumas, including but not limited to abuse or other serious events that often cause one to gain weight in order to "protect" themselves from future abuse.

I know for me, some of the lessons don't match up exactly with what I am going through, so I have to tweak them a little to match my personal needs. But I am feeling a difference. It's slow work, but I feel like it's making a difference.

One note, this book often refers to the Divine Mind as part of its spirituality. While it does not push a Christian ethic, it does assume that God is your Divine power. If that is with whom you prefer to talk, then great! However, if that is not the case, it is a simple matter of mentally substituting your Higher Power of choice when she does mention Him. I am doing so (substituting The Lady for God), and am finding it just as powerful and effective. I think the bottom line is, if it is going to work for you, it really doesn't matter if you are surrendering your sorrows to the Great Spaghetti Monster. Just do it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Google+

After Facebook's latest round of updates, I decided that I needed to expand my social networking horizons. So, myself along with several other friends migrated over to Google+.

I'm waiting for it to not suck.

I can see its possibilities, but frankly it's not particularly user-friendly at the moment. I'm having issues finding people, and short of exporting all my contacts from Yahoo into another file and then somehow getting G+ to read it, getting my friends back is going to take a while. Also, I think a lot of the people actually want to follow aren't over there yet. I'd send invites, but.... back to the whole Yahoo issue.

Of course, when FB first started it sucked too. Then it got really good and then it started pulling a George Lucas and fixing things that weren't broke.

So, I guess I should give it some time. Meanwhile, I'm updating both now and am waiting to see which takes off and which peters out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'd Have Gotten Away with it too...

... if it weren't for you meddling kids.

I have been having a lot of unsettling dreams the past couple months. Not nightmares, but dreams that are most definitely not fun-time romps in the woods. They've been waking me up and ungodly hours of the morning (ie, any time before 8am) and have been leaving me out of sorts for a large portion of the day. Many of them feel real enough that feelings of guilt linger long after they should.

You see, in my dreams I'm killing people.

I have had these dreams on at least three separate occasions that I remember. Once I killed someone while driving in my car and attempted to cover it up, and twice I've killed clients at work. The first dream was so deep and insidious that I'd nearly convinced myself it had actually happened. The most recent dream woke me up this morning at 5am. A scant five hours sleep and I'm still trying to convince myself not to feel guilty over something that didn't happen.

So I finally got online in an attempt to figure out what the hell my psyche is trying to tell me. I found this here:
To dream that you kill someone indicates that you are on the verge of losing your temper and self-control. Consider the person you have killed and ask yourself if you feel any rage towards him or her in your waking life. Your dream may be expressing some hidden anger. Alternatively, you may be trying to kill an aspect of yourself that is represented by the person killed. Identify the characteristics of this person and ask yourself which of these qualities you are trying to put an end to.
Considering that I had a difficult client yesterday, I can see where this morning's dream came from. While I killed the same client both times (one whom I actually enjoy seeing on a regular basis and not the one I saw yesterday), I think the larger issue is "work". And yes, I do get frustrated by various aspects of work - sometimes clients and sometimes my own performance anxieties - and I can see how that could translate into something violent like this.

I also noticed this morning (because at 5am, all there is to do is think) that these dreams - so far as I can tell - started shortly after I started helping my landlady out with her mail. A couple days ago, I received a request from her daughter asking me to be more hands-on in regards to my landlady's meds, and asking if I were interested in a whole slew of other activities that while taking the onus of property management off her mother, put it directly on me.

I have put off responding to this email because, frankly, it pissed me off. She is asking an awful lot of a tenant and someone with no care-taking or medical training. I understand that she is very worried about her mother and is trying to make the best out of a bad situation, which is another reason I have put off giving her an answer. I am still trying to figure out how to say "no, that isn't my responsibility" while still respecting her needs and concerns.

The reality is that her mother cannot be trusted to dole out her own medications anymore. She gets easily distracted and confused, and I've gone down on more than one occasion to help with her mail only to discover that she hasn't taken them at all. She is always saying she is running out of them, and I can't tell if that is because she puts them in different bottles then forgets about them or if she is truly running out. Oh yeah... she reuses old pill bottles. Which is a BIG no-no.

One time I got so confused in trying to help her that I had her go see her doc/pharmacist because it was so screwed up I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Turns out someone had put the pills in the wrong bottle (I think it was her) and she took too much of one of her meds. Luckily it was caught and fixed, but that could have ended badly. I believe it was a blood thinner. One bad scrape and.... let's not think about that.

I feel extremely uncomfortable being responsible for her meds. Her daughter has written up something excusing me of any and all liability, but that doesn't prevent me from feeling horrible if something happens to her. If it has come to the point where she cannot be trusted to take her meds correctly and regularly, professional outside help needs to be sought. Relying on a good-hearted upstairs neighbor and tenant is not going to cut it.

This is a family issue, and if she doesn't want to contact the Visiting Nurses Association or another organization to help her mom out once a week, she needs to enlist family members who are still in the area (and there are more than a few) to stop by once a week to take care of their elderly relative. I feel bad for her daughter and understand the difficult position she is in, but her mother's continuing welfare is not my responsibility.

Now, how do I say all this to her in a non-confrontational manner? Oy. I hate letting people down.

And this post soooooo veered away from where I started....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm not ignoring you...

...really!

For some reason time has gotten away from me. I had no idea it had been a week since I last posted.

Last weekend was crazy busy for me. I had a performance in a town 2 solid hours south of us. Got to see some of the massive Irene damage on the way. Scary to think that the road we were driving on actually didn't exist for like a week.

Also ended up driving past the restaurant where the ex took me for my birthday. The good news is, it didn't get washed away by Irene. The bad news is, I wasn't expecting it and driving through that whole town gave me a bit of a lurch. Good memories, baaaaaad outcome. The show itself was good. Not too many people attended it, as it was competing with a beautiful late summer evening and the local county fair. All of the other dancers made for a very enthusiastic audience though! :-)

All this was on Saturday. On Sunday, I headed up to Dreaming Mountain in Johnson for Johnson State College's Integrated Health Day. A whole bunch of alternative healers (reiki, craniosacral therapy, chiropractics, belly dance, massage, astrology, homeopathy, shamanism, meditation, and more!) gathered together to give incoming students a taste of what non-allopathic healing can do. It was a wonderful day. It was six hours of massaging (through the clothes in 20 minute sessions), and it reminded me of why I got into this in the first place. I also made some wonderful contacts, including one person with whom I hope to be trained in reiki. Here are just a few of the pics I took:

There were several Buddhas scattered across the property. This one was overlooking a small waterfall and pond.

We were on a mountain, so fall and its colors start a little earlier than everywhere else

This picture just does not do the view justice. The haze is hiding the mountains. STUNNING.


This coming Saturday I have two performances - an opening of a studio and then a benefit. I should probably listen to my song for the studio opening. It is only three days away... good thing I don't mind improvisation!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yumbly in my Tumbly

Back when I was still doing Weight Watchers – almost ten years ago now – I frequently read posts on the message boards for those who had 200 pounds or more to lose. I didn’t have nearly that much (I ended up losing 30 or so), but they had some fascinating stories and their trials and tribulations helped put many things in perspective for me.

One of the things people would occasionally post was how – for the first time in their lives – they felt hungry. Because they spent so much time always eating, they’d never let their bodies get to the point where hunger kicked in. It was a whole new way to relate to their bodies.

Several years later, Weight Watchers developed a program that could be done instead of their point-counting system. It was based more on whole foods and instead of counting points, you paid more attention to your hunger cues, eating before you became ravenous and stopping before you felt stuffed. People who needed the accountability preferred the points system, while those who needed a change or could control themselves through personal observation preferred the whole-foods system.

I know what hunger feels like. I’ve felt it, and I hate that feeling. I get anxious and desperate. I need food. NOW. And the longer I wait the more I’m going to stuff my face when I finally get to eat. If I get extremely hungry, I’ll get nauseous and it feels like my insides are eating themselves. The thing is, I don't continually eat so I never feel hunger. I feel it every day, it's the cue I use to know it's meal time. And yet, I hate it. 

You know what feeling I love? The feeling of fullness. Not quite that “I are way too much at Christmas Dinner” stuffed, but most definitely full. I’ll eat more than I probably should in order to feel it. General consensus is that you should stop eating before you actually feel full because by the time you feel full you’ve already eaten too much. It takes like 15 or 20 minutes for your brain to get the message.

What is it about this feeling of fullness? What is it that is so appealing to me? It’s a hug I can give myself when no one else wants to. It’s comforting. It’s a feeling like there isn’t some big whole in the center of me, empty and gaping. It means I am well cared for, even if only I am the one doing the caring. I enjoy eating, the tastes and textures and even feelings I get as I eat something yummy. I take great pleasure in the act and the sensations.

So then it becomes the great conundrum for me when I am continually frustrated by my weight. I want to lose 10 pounds, and yet being anything less than absolutely full throws me into a state of near panic. I. Must. Eat.

So these days I’m trying to work through my frustration. If I’m going to insist on eating to fullness, then I’m trying to eat whole foods, fruits, veggies and whole grains. I’m trying to exercise even though I’m burning calories left and right at work. It’s a baby step but if I’m going to have a healthy relationship with food – something I may well struggle with for the rest of my life – I’m going to need to work on this rather important issue.

Sigh. There’s always another issue to work on, isn’t there?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going Back

While I was going to school for massage, part of the requirement for graduation was to develop a business plan. I think this is par for the course for any school who claims graduates can sit for the national tests - it's a minimum requirement of the national associations.

Anyway, while I was in school I was fresh off Hell Job, and the business plan gave me a hell of a time. I was angry at it. The idea of sitting down and writing it - and especially thinking about all of the marketing -  filled me with resentment and a real bad case of the "I don't wannas". Which is not how it should be. It should be an exciting thing... you're thinking about the future after all. What grand possibilities are in store for you? What can you make of yourself?

Granted, the process sort of takes the fun out of the "what if" part by focusing on financials and minutae of reality, but that's the business world for you. Take something fun and then keep staring at it until that slinks off and you can see the bottom line.

But anyway.

In school, I ended up writing a career plan, which at the time I could see much more clearly for myself. I could see five years down the line... where I hoped to be and what I hoped to accomplish.

But here's the secret, the reason I've never been a planner, the reason I've never written any "By the Time I'm 40" lists. Because life is crazy. You can plan all you want and meet goal after goal after goal, but if there is no flexibility you're going to spend a good portion of your life struggling against the tide to meet those goals. Especially if your life could have taken some amazing turns along the way...if only you'd look up from that list. You never know where the Road of Life is going to take you, and I prefer to just go along for the ride as opposed to trying to straighten out all the turns along the way.

This morning I opened a new document... a business plan. It's not a definite. It's a what-if, to be taken out when I feel the need. To put down ideas of how to do a business my way. It may never be anything more than me playing around on a rainy morning. But it's a step I couldn't take a year and a half ago.

See... you just never know where life is going to take you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sigh.

Why does OKCupid keep trying to match me up with guys who rock a 70's porn 'stache?

Seriously... did I accidently check something that said "love the snot catcher, please match appropriately"?

Gah!

Image Detail

Men, if you're reading this, the ladies do NOT like the porn 'stache. We laugh at the porn 'stache. We write derogatory blog posts about the porn 'stache, hoping that the embarrassment will force you to shave it off, thus allowing us to meet you instead of the scary thing under your nose.

Kay?

Kay.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On This Day in 2009

Every once in a while, if you look at one of your Facebook sidebars, they have this thing where they bring up old statuses. Which is actually kinda of creepy if you think too hard about it, but also kinda of cool. For example, on this day in 2009, I posted "I have a new job!"

Which got me to thinking back. On this day in 2009, I did indeed have a new job. My time at Hell Job was literally over by a day. I took just one day off in between jobs (Labor Day), before starting training for my school job.

Which means, two years ago starting next week, I started my journey toward becoming a massage therapist. TWO years ago! Where does the time go? When I first started at my current job, when people asked me how long I'd been doing it, I'd say "oh, about a year." Meaning: Well, I started learning how to give a massage at school in September, and it's September now, so... Now, when I say I've been doing it for a little over a year, I don't have to count my schooling. I really have been doing this for a year.

And who knows where the possibilities will take me? There is still so much to learn, so many places I could take this knowledge. The world is my oyster. Or, would be if I liked oysters. The world is my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Can't Help It... It's On My Mind

My ex lives in one of the toughest hit parts of the state. From the news feeds I've been reading, his town is pretty much completely cut off. They're struggling to get the people stuck in town the basics like food and medicine.

He lives on the upper floors of his apartment building so I'm guessing he was at least okay. Although, the pavement in front of his place had been undermined earlier in the year from the heavy spring rains and had been pegged for fixing. Who know if it held. His entire parking lot could have been washed away. His step-parents also live very close to a creek and a flat-lying area.

I'm sure they are all fine - from what I understand no one has been seriously injured or killed, so I know they are all at least okay. But I am so disheartened that I am not even "allowed" to text him to see if he and his are okay. That even if I did, he would never respond so the most I would get is... nothing.

I'm sorry. But he introduced me to a bunch of really great people, and I CARE about all of them. I don't wish any of them ill and if something happened to them I would want to help. I'm frustrated that I'm just supposed to stop caring about these nice people, and that any attempts that I make to find out would be thwarted with unending, unrepenting silence.

You just don't stop caring. Well, I just don't stop caring. I can't help it. I'm not built like that.

This is Two.

Monday the 21st was our 2-year wedding anniversary. We build the Matrimonial Pizza, with my brother officiating and my Chick of Honor wat...