Saturday, April 30, 2016

Movement

I've been stuck
Living in
No motion
Life
Has cycled back
Out of necessity
It seems

Eureka!

A fight
In the night
Sheds light
On the path
Less examined
And my mind
Frees
FINALLY
From its chains

Breathing
It's so amazing
To remember
How

Truths
Hot
Stabbing
Truths
Pierce
My resistance
To movement
And
(Painfully)
I move on

My smile
Returns
To a place
Of sincerity

And my eyes
My eyes
Harbor
A little
Less
Pain

I'm moving
Again
Let's Go!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Noticing Silence

This morning
I am
Noticing
Silence

The way
It has flavors
Which play
Upon the palate
Of the mind

The silence
Of a house
Full
Of sleeping children
Is sweet
Like ice cream
Or
Dulce de leche

 The silence
Of the house
After a break-up
Is bitter
But sometimes
Satisfying

 The silence
Of the mind
While the body
Traverses
City streets
During rush hour
Is difficult
To place

The texture
Is smooth
But the flavor
Definitely
Has hints
Of nuttiness

Certainly
The silence
Of midnight
Camping
Deep in the mountains
Has such depth of flavor
The mind
Can only open
And let it pass through

The silence
After a loved one’s
Last breath
Is very salty
And requires
A lot of time
And love
To restore balance
To the mental palate

The silence
After
My Last breath
Will be earthy
And deep
But sweet
I’m thinking
Dark chocolate
With sea salt
And caramel

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hurt

I hurt
Still
From you,
Yes
But from me,
Mostly

I feel as though
Lately
I've been sharpening my swords
And stabbing myself
Because
For a moment
Life felt good

And now
I guess now
I have placed myself
On a new precipice
Hanging off
Facing certain death
I feel normal again
My survival instinct
Resurrected

My fear
My despair
Acute
But so familiar

I'm writing again
That says everything
Doesn't it?

I hurt
All over
From you,
Yes
But from me,
Mostly


Circles

Is it true
That life
Continuously
Circles
Back to scenarios
And situations
From which
You have yet
To learn
The lesson
Which was meant
For you
To learn?

Honestly
Now
On (yet) another
Sleepless
Night

I think
To myself
My lesson
Is
"Value Thyself"

By not
Valuing myself
I open the door
For others
To use me
To hurt me
To violate me
To disregard me
To disrespect me

So
Is it that
History
Will continue
To repeat itself
Until
I learn
This lesson

Or

Is it
That
The failure
To learn
The lesson
Leaves me open
To history
Repeating
Itself?

Either way
I have
GOT
To (fucking)
END
This circle!


Friday, March 18, 2016

State of Mind

I pause
To find
My state
Of mind
Is cloudy

Not the tranquil clouds
Of an otherwise clear blue, summer sky
But the dark and ominous clouds
Of an impending storm

Not just any storm
But the kind of storm
Which wakes the children
And unnerves the pets
Which stops the traffic on the highway
And is the perfect cover
For a terrible murder

Clarity
Is what I seek
But I have forgotten
It seems
How to find it

Maybe sleep will help

Wait...

How do I get to sleep again?


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Emptiness

My emptiness
I cultivate
So that I can be filled
With Universal truths

But if my emptiness
Shifts
From simple vacancy
To an emotional hollow
Instead of being filled with truths
I am filled with sadness

So I try to let go
Of feeling
Because feeling
Causes the hollow

Yet my feeling
Is connected
To my memories
And some memories
I am not ready
To release

So here I am
Sitting with my emptiness
And wondering
If sadness
Is my Universal truth

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Release

4:10 a.m.

As part of my ongoing quest for personal growth and enlightenment, I am part of an online community where the moderator posed the question, "Got a WORD for 2016?"  Without really thinking on it very deeply, I commented "Release".

So here I am, two weeks into the New Year, and I've got so much NOISE in my brain I can't for the life of me get back to sleep.  On a day when I really, really wanted more than three hours.  I'm thinking to myself, "This is awful!  What can I do to fix this?  How can I get to sleep?".  And my answer comes to me softly, like a whisper, "release" and then (when I ignore it) loudly, insistent..."RELEASE!".

Oh, okay.  So I haven't blogged in quite a while actually.  This happens when I allow life to carry me away, which clearly I have done.  Blogging is my release.  No wonder my brain is so clogged.

It's possible I have been afraid to release all that has been inhabiting my brain as of late.  One part fear of being vulnerable, one part fear of opening the floodgates, one part fear of the unknown (there's so much up there I'm not even sure what will come out!) and one part exhaustion (two parts exhaustion?).  

I chose "release" for my word for 2016 because I need to let go, of A LOT.  But "let go" is two words.  I could have gone with "dismiss" I suppose, but that's not exactly the right sentiment.  I want to feel, process and then let go.  So I think release is a good fit.

There is one thing I wanted to blog about earlier in the week but never found time to do.  So I guess I should start there.

Nexen loves to watch "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood".  It's actually a really great show for toddlers as it teaches a lot about how to deal with day to day toddler life in a fun and productive way.  There's an episode about going to school featuring the song "Grownups Come Back" which made a huge difference our day care drop offs.  This particular episode is about "Thank You Day" which, as you could guess, is about gratitude.  So there's a song which goes, "Thank you, for everything you do...thank you for (fill in the blank).  


At bedtime, Nexen starts singing the Thank You song and inserts things like, "Thank you for playing with me." and "Thank you for making me lunch."  But then he says, "Thank you for letting me cry." and "Thank you for letting me say no." and he repeats these two over and over again about 5 times.  So I find this interesting on a couple of levels.  First, he's noticed there are people who don't like for him to cry, and he clearly doesn't like the way that feels.  Or at least, he can appreciate the difference when I allow him to do so.  Second, there are people who don't allow him to say no.  This one is a little harder for me to figure out but I suppose it is about honoring his voice.

Certainly I don't capitulate each time he says no to something but I also am careful to choose my battles and try to foster a feeling of control over his choices.  I know a lot of adults (myself included) who have a lot of difficulty making decisions in their lives.  I suspect this can often be traced back to a lack of practice and opportunity to make one's own choices as they are growing-up and/or a general lack of respect for the child's choice when voiced.  Or the feeling of their voice/opinion not mattering because it is always overridden anyway.

Anyway that was an interesting happening in the life of child rearing that I'd wanted to memorialize and now I have completed that task.  My brain does, in fact, feel slightly less full.  Not sure that I could get to sleep yet though...still a lot up there.

So lets go back to what I need to release.  A number of things come to mind immediately.  Guilt.  Expectations.  Self-judgment.  Self-loathing.  Idealized "family".  That should be a good start.

1.  Guilt

I carry so much guilt I'm not sure how I even walk around half the time.  I feel guilty for pretty much everything I do.  I feel guilty if I sleep too much.  I feel guilty if I don't sleep enough.  I feel guilty if I eat too much.  I feel guilty if I take up too much space on public transportation or even just on the sidewalk (I'm usually toting at least two bags and two children, commonly a stroller, etc.).  Basically, I feel guilty for existing.  I feel super guilty if I do anything in my life which is not self-sacrificing.  If my action doesn't serve someone else...guilt.  If I take time to myself to draw, read, travel, watch TV, even eat sometimes...guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt guilt.

My countermeasure?  Building my self worth.  Believing I have a right to be happy.  Giving myself things and allowing myself things that I would give or allow others, to make them happy.  Of note:  giving myself and allowing myself these things often makes other happy as well.  But I have to remind myself, constantly, it's okay to be happy, it's okay to feel pleasure, it's OKAY to RELAX!

2.  Expectations

I have this completely unrealistic expectation that I will operate at a superhuman level at all times.  Not requiring sleep, food, comfort or support.  I have a correlated expectation that others will see that I am perfectly capable of all things at all times and not offer help, lest I be offended.

My countermeasure?  Humble myself.  Admit to being human, having limits, getting worn down.  Stop fighting against people being nice to me, wanting to help.  Of note:  this is more difficult than releasing #1.

3.  Self-judgment/Self-loathing

I'm going to go ahead and lump these together.  I know many people are their own worst critic.  But I am pretty ruthless.  I guess it's very tied in to the whole guilt thing.  But if I lose my cool and raise my voice at the children, I feel something very close to genuine hate for myself.  I am never looking good enough, acting nice enough, being smart enough.  Every action I judge and then usually hate.  Rarely do I give myself kudos for anything.

My countermeasure?  Be nice to me.  Talk back to myself in a positive way.  My impulse is to judge, so let that happen.  And then speak rationally, nicely, to myself and change the freaking script.  39 years I have told myself to focus on the negative.  When there isn't any?  Make something up.  So let's just change it up now.  Find the positive, even if it is minute.  Even if I have to make it up.  And use it to change my impulses.  Of note:  easier said than done.

4.  Idealized "Family"

Inevitably people with whom I talk ask me about having more children.  And I do have this dream where I meet a nice man, fall in love, and have however many more children time and finances allow and then we stay together to the end of our days.  I think I need to release this idea that a scenario like that will perfect my life.  I think it's harmful to me and the children and our current family structure to have this idea that makes our life seem flawed.  I know it isn't perfect but what is?  Throwing another man and more children into the equation?  It's just a whole other brand of difficult.

My countermeasure?  Enjoy now.  Treasure and value my life and the people and things that are in it just the way they are now.  Stop judging myself and my family against societal norms and just know that we are a great family.  We are whole and we are happy.  Just the way we are.  Families always grow and change, it's not that I am accepting status quo and not moving from it.  It's just that I need to stop making myself and my poor children feel like we are inferior or second class citizens because I am a single mother and they do not all have the same father.  We still live as a family, stand as a family and count as a family.

Okay, I think I'm purged for now.  This was good.  For me anyway.  And I will not apologize or feel guilty about it (of course I had to swallow an apology and fight the guilt).

5:19.  Sleep for an hour?