Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 29: Joining My Complaint-Free Sisters and Brother

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 29.

For my BE BRAVE challenge today, I'm joining my complaint-free creative sisters and brother:

Kate I from Through My Lens Lightly
Christine Kane from her blog
Carmen from Strawberries and Champagne
Lori-Lyn from The Dream Life
Rick from Hamguin's Hide-not
Kelly from Kikipotamus the Hobo

All of these women and Rick committed to changing their world by becoming Complaint-Free for the next 30 days. This means no complaints, and no related things---like gossiping, criticizing, judging, etc. The hard part is that this can extend to our thoughts as well, so no inner complaining! Christine Kane lists "10 Irresistible Reasons to Go Complaint-Free Starting Today" on her blog that are sooo enticing. There is also a book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted, which I will be reading.

At first I wondered if I could do both Complaint-Free and NaNoWriMo, which starts in less than two hours (Nov 1st). I decided I couldn't NOT do Complaint-Free. It's too compelling, too powerful, too scary---just like BE BRAVE was back in September. It will complement and reframe NaNoWriMo, because I want to approach this important experience with joy (as Jessie showed me in one of her comments a couple of days ago:
" for your WORK with nanowrimo--WHAHOOO for you! :) thinking of it as work is a good idea. wow, i mean, i would LOVE to have that job! :)..."

I thought, "Dang! I want to feel this way...why am I not focusing in on my joy?" I realized I've buried it under a heck of a lot of fear. It's still there, though, and I am going to resurrect it and more with Complaint-Free!!

I am, like Kelly, customizing my commitment a little, at least here at the start, as I explain in the two videos below. Each one is just over a minute:

The first video:

The second video:

Wellness Wednesday: How I Use(d) Food Part 2 or Healing My Relationship with Food

Well, last night I did not avoid late night eating to zone out, despite the incredible support I received here. However, I did learn a lot, and am going to share it with you here. Tonight, I expect to easily be successful :)

I share all of this in hopes that you can relate to it, and that it will help you as well. To read part 1 (so that you know what I'm talking about, go here).

Tonight I have three videos for you: The first one is one minute long:

In the second video I say that nothing is as satisfying as the road to obesity, but that is just from my limited perspective, because of it's familiarity---because I've been on this road for SO long. I am certain that my perspective will change as I form new habits. The second video is 1:24 minutes long:

The third video is 1:37 minutes long:

Again, I share all of this not just to challenge and support myself, but in the hopes that it will help you as well. This has been an issue for me for so long. When I was in college I was bulimic, becoming bulimic again when I turned 30, and for the last twenty years (although I no longer have bulimia) have struggled with overeating as my comfort and night time friend. It is amazing that it could be so simple as to change my diet to heal from my carb addiction, and then to do what it takes to stop, but that's truly what I believe it is. I no longer believe it has to be hard, or time-consuming, or a involve months of struggle. So, I'm battering up, planning on getting a hit tonight!

What's Up with Bloglines?

How cow, Bloglines is saying I'm posting 5 or 6 posts a day sometimes, and now is going back through pretty old posts, saying I'm reposting them. I apologize to all of my subscribers. Who knows what's going on? (If you do, then let me know!)

I continue to post 1-2 posts per day, and rarely change a past post, so this is a mystery to me!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 28: How I Use(d) Food

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 28.

Today I wanted to tackle a big deal in my life---my current relationship with food. I am a foodie and love food. I've gotten over the full-time carbohydrate cravings since I've gone low-carb and now am only bothered intermittently. So now food doesn't run my life in that way. I still love food and hope to always feel this way. Here are some of my food pictures from Maui:

This is heaven for me. So you see, I'm not a junk food type of girl. But food still runs my life in one way: LATE NIGHT EATING!

The first video is just over a minute long:

The second video is just over a minute long as well:

~Pictures by LoveHubbie Mark

What if A Woman Listened...And Then Trusted...Herself

This quote is phantastico, and I wanted to share it with you. It is from musemother's blog (check it out), but originally "taken from Circle of Stones, Judith Duerk, Woman’s Journey to Herself":

"What if woman allowed herself to listen once again to her own sensitivities? To listen to the ways in which she is unhappy? What if she allowed herself to trust what her tears are trying to tell her?

No, not this way, No your life has no meaning lived this way. No…No…slow down, rest. Fill the kettle slowly. Listen! as the water in its slender stream flows down to fill the waiting kettle.

A woman age 55 speaks of her struggle:

Oh the time, the endless pressure of time Even when I have a whole day, I still can’t get to my own things – I don’t even know what they are…

I vacuum, do the bookkeeping, always production-oriented…the endless realm of keeping busy…when I was young, my mother always expected us to keep busy…she couldn’t imagine my need to have time for myself…if one of her daughters would be a bit quiet or inward one day, she would right away immediately accuse us of being lazy and gives us a task to do.

In my dreams there is a quiet chamber, an inner corridor for which I’m always searching and can never quite get to…a quiet, dark place…where I’m allowed to just sit…alone …and be still.

What if a woman were to allow herself to trust her own unhappiness and to make life changes – that would allow time and place for her to experience her life as it lives itself out slowly, moment by moment? To allow herself time and place to be present to her own burning fire, the water springing from the rock of her own experience…to allow herself to leave behind the jet plane, the express lane, and simply to be, there, for a moment, present to her own life?

What if a woman trusted her own tears enough to listen to them, to make real changes in her individual schedule, and to see if those changes spread to her office, her committee, her religious group?

What if she trusted her anger, her irritation, her illness, even her depression, as signs that her own life was calling to her?

What if a woman allowed herself to leave a mode of doing that does not nourish her, that actively makes her unhappy? What if it were not so difficult? If her upbringing had not sought to teach her to be dutiful, moral, caring, giving, helpful, productive and loving…at all all others.

….it is often finally a woman’s own pain and sadness that make her change her life. Finally, it is impossible to deny her feelings any longer."

Monday, October 29, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 27: It's All About NaNoWriMo

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 27.

This video is two minutes long:

Vloggers (video loggers) mentioned in the video are:
Jessie, from Diary of a Self-Portrait
Kate, from Meanderings
Lori-Lyn, and her blog is called "The Dream Life"

This is the image that Amazon picked to advertise my review (it's just a photo, not an actual video). Now, if I can stand to have this up all over the Internet, certainly YOU can vlog, too :)

I'm Featured on Livin' La Vida Low-Carb

Today I had a surprise in that I was written about for my video Amazon reviews on Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low-Carb. I recently reviewed Jimmy's extremely motivational book with the same name as his blog, as well as two other low carb books that were also excellent. Together the trio makes up a perfect package, in my opinion, for a physician to find out everything they need to know in order to help their patients adopt the low carb lifestyle.

Jimmy's post covers each of the three books well, so if you're interested in this, be sure to read it. I am new to all of this, but not new to nutrition, as I've studied health and nutrition, especially raw food lifestyles, for many, many years. I loved and truly believed in "being raw" for years, but never was able to stay raw as a lifestyle. Thus, nothing ever worked for me long-term, and now that I'm through with menopause, I'm more interested than ever---because of the health issues---in being a healthy weight. So far (it's been a little less than two weeks) this works amazingly well for me and the sugar cravings are finally starting to diminish.

Low carbohydrate living would never have appealed to me if my body hadn't gotten so out of whack and if I hadn't packed the pounds on, because of my personality, which has had vegan leanings for many years. I also was a member of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a group that has persecuted the Atkins diet. Now I'm on Atkins. Not just for the weight loss, but primarily for my health. For I have read Good Calories, Bad Calories, the premier scholarly tome reviewing nutritional and bariatric research over the last decade. What a switch! But I'm actually glad to have had the opportunity to make it now and hopefully save my health for a much healthier second half-century of life.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Sunday, October 28, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 26: Extreme Fear and DP

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 26.

My BE BRAVE challenge yesterday and today was a doozy, fully embodying “doing one thing that scares me”. I know that there is “another way” I could take this whole thing, but I don’t yet know what it is. If anyone has a different way of looking at this let me know, please. What I do know is that it will have to do with things like seeing through eyes of love not fear, being present, attracting love, letting go, and more. I am so open to transforming my relationships with those people I fear, which right now is limited to the person below (called DP) and people who are physically attacking me (a limited group that is currently non-existent).

Also please forgive all of the mystery and acronyms. My family and LoveHubbie wanted to be sure that both FM's and DP's privacy were not compromised here.

Let me start by saying that I don’t believe that there is such a thing as an evil person. I think that everyone is doing the best with what they know. However, there are certain people that seem to be, with our human eyes---evil. When they are evil-seeming and very bright at the same time, I consider them a “dangerous person” or DP for short, especially when they wish me ill.

Maybe you’ve known someone personally who is a DP. These people will express their inner pain through verbal, emotional, and sometimes even physical abuse and threats.

I know someone like this. To keep everyone’s anonymity and privacy here, we’ll call this person DP. My history with DP is one of various abusive behaviors and me learning to deal with them over the years as I’ve matured. For the recent past, DP has been out of my life as DP has been focused on things other than me. This has been wonderful. However, I realized this week that I am more afraid of DP than of anyone else in the world, because DP has an entry into my life through a family member of mine, called hereafter FM. I love FM deeply. FM loves DP, for reasons that make sense (really, truly) but reasons that I cannot share here.

My approach with people has always been that if they contribute something positive to my life, then I keep the relationship alive. If, however, they are destructive, or disrespectful, or toxic---then I let simply let the relationship go. I spent years of my life with chronic fatigue syndrome, I believe because I refused to take care of myself emotionally. Now I don’t make that mistake. Ever.

So my good sense would have me to have nothing to do with DP. I’d just forget about her/him and move on. But there is FM.

So it’s right before NaNoWriMo. And this past week, FM decides that it is time to bring DP into the picture. A visit.

I should say that DP hates me viciously. We don’t know exactly how DP feels about FM, except that DP has taken great efforts to hurt FM. I won’t get into the drama of all of this; however, much of the drama in my life in the past has been created by FM bringing DP into FM’s life and my life as well, and DP turning and attacking both FM and myself. I love FM and have protected FM for years and years from DP. I have also protected myself from DP. This has taken me growing up and learning to deal with abusive people in empowered and effective ways.

So here, right in the middle of the BE BRAVE challenge, DP appears in my life. Right before NaNoWriMo. The drama could be expected to take place during NaNoWriMo---from now until then. I would again have to take a stand for my safety---emotional and even physical. And to take a stand for FM’s safety.

To protect privacy, I cannot tell you why this is my business, why it is not codependent in my protecting FM, but trust that it is not. I also cannot tell you why FM keeps inviting DP to be involved in their life and why it MUST involve me. These are just facts of the story, and if I could tell you the whole thing it would make sense.

Well, so last week I didn’t know what to do about the DP situation. I felt intense fear when FM told me that the visit would take place. FM asked me how to best do it so that everyone would be well, especially me. I didn’t know, so I simply told FM that I didn’t know and trusted the Universe to bring the answers my way. In the past, I would have simply freaked out, not be able to work, fallen apart, and let the fear run my life. DP. Again. NaNoWriMo. My dream. DP. FM unsafe.

I should also say that FM is frail, in poor health, and has been near death in the past several years. I do not want FM to die, and especially because of something done by DP, either overtly and causative or indirectly.

I know that I do not have control over all of this, but FM respects my opinion and cares for me, so I have tremendous influence.

Trusting the Universe to show me the answer, I went for a couple of short walks. Immediately things were shown to me:

1) I could not support FM or myself being in any physical danger, or in any situation that would be conducive to physical harm.

2) As part of the visit, DP could not stay in my home. In the distant past, DP stayed with me, before I knew better.

Both of decisions on my part disappointed FM greatly. FM was very upset with; FM always thinks that DP has “changed”, that DP is now loving and wishes well to everyone, because DP says so. All evidence of DP’s behavior says that DP is exactly the same, and that in fact the only reason DP wants to “see” FM is to cause direct harm to FM, especially since FM is so vulnerable health-wise.

So I stood my ground, even at the cost of an estrangement with FM.

Then today FM contacted me and told me about an idea to visit with DP that would be relatively safe and would not involve my home or me. Harm could still come to FM but it would be very difficult and others would be there for protection. I would not be involved. It was something I would never have though of---thinking out of the box.

With this solution, totally generated by FM, I can let go of FM, knowing that I am not being negligent or violating my values or sense of prudence. I don’t need to fear DP…somewhere I know that I don’t ever need to fear DP, but I’m not there yet. Still, it showed me that I can stand up for myself against this nasty, toxic person and stay safe. I can protect myself. To some sensible degree, I can protect those I love. I can create some safety for myself in this world that I have seen in the past as so unsafe and unpredictable.

And if something happens to FM, I did what I could, and I can do no more. But my conscience will be at peace.

I am safe. I can stay safe.

I know that bad things still could happen to me unpredictably as they can to anyone, but to know, to see, that I can trust the Universe to help me to create and stand for a sense of safety against DP and other DP’s is moving and exquisitely comforting to me.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Sacred Life Sunday: Being Present, The Experiment

Today I'd like to share with you three videos about my experiment with being present, which made today an exciting start of what I plan to be a lifetime practice. This experiment was based on my starting "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, a book that Kikipotamus the Hobo has shared much about on her blog. The first video is one minute long, the second video is two minutes long, and the third video is 45 seconds long.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 25: I Promise I'll Tell You

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 25.

Today I slept in (till 10:30am), had a peaceful restful quiet time, then went with LoveHubbie to Tacoma, WA to Trader Joe's to go grocery shopping, the last trip until NaNoWriMo is over. Spent the whole day with LoveHubbie, away from the computer. LoveHubbie has been working until 11pm or midnight recently, getting up and going off to work before 6am. So it was great to be together today.

I started a big BE BRAVE challenge today, but will work on it for days to come, and I'll tell you about it tomorrow. It's a real doozy, so it's going to count for today and tomorrow...but I can't really tell you about it till tomorrow. Gotta go gotta go...Love to all, O

Link love to Rick for his post about me and my clean pantry, and his own hilarious video about his "diagonal pantry"! Check it out at his blog Hamguin's Hide-not!

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Friday, October 26, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 24: The Book Review Marathon

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 24.

Today I finished up my remaining outstanding task before I would let myself start NaNoWriMo preparations: backed up Amazon reviews. I like doing reviews, but not when they get backed up and I can't remember specifics about the books well enough to do a great review. I end up doing an ordinary or even substandard review. So today was my deadline, and I just did them...actually I'm almost done, but I hope to finish up by midnight. Couldn't believe it even could be done. Now I'm ready to start preparing for NaNoWriMo! Whoo hoo!

This video is less than a minute :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 23: Forward Ho!!

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 23.

For BE BRAVE today, I tried out a new physical exercise and accomplished an onerous household task that was hanging over my head.

The first video is 36 seconds long. It is of me Nordic Ski Walking for the first time. It doesn't look too strenuous, but that's because I'm just starting and's me doing it, and I don't move too quickly. I got some poles so that I could lessen the strain on my legs and feet as I walk. Nordic Ski Walking is one of the fastest growing sports in Europe. You use a biomechanically correct posture and then walk correctly with the poles. It looks a little funny because there is no snow, but these poles are meant to be used on the ground, on the pavement, on the beach, in a city, when hiking, etc. They are not ski poles, but Nordic ski poles---a completely new and exciting sport! Here it is:

The second video is 54 seconds long. It is of my pantry before I cleaned it out. It may not look a total wreck in the video, but it is full of old and expired food like rancid rice and nuts, mouse droppings, dust, soot stains from the fireplace, food with sugar in it, refined carbohydrates, and other things that I just don't want around anymore. It takes up a whole small room, and it's almost impossible to find things in there unless you know right where they are. Here is the Before Video:

The last video is 1:10 long. It took me the whole day to complete this pantry project because I scrubbed everything, reorganized everything, packed up things that needed to be donated, and put misplaced items in the rooms where they really belong. I was thrilled to be done. Here is the After Video:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 22: Eliminating "Don't Want To" To Do Clutter

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 22.

This video is just over two minutes long---let me know if this is ok, or if it's too long. I've noticed that my browser will stall if I have too many windows open. I'm wondering if I should go to YouTube like everyone else has...what do you think? Blogger reduces the quality of the video too, so that it takes up less space. I'm thinking it might be better under YouTube. Any ideas?

Enjoy today's video:

Wellness Wednesday: Perseverance

This Wellness Wednesday video is 1:04 (shorter to minimize loading and viewing problems):

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 21: Saying What Needs to Be Said

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 21.

This video is 1:04 long (shorter than those of the past, hopefully quicker to load). If anyone has trouble viewing it, please comment here or email me, ok?

I missed Sacred Sunday...I was truly having a Sabbath rest in bed for the worst day of my flu, but today is a little better. I think I've turned the corner.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More Squirrels

Here and here.

Burrowing In

This morning I was woken up with a killer migraine (it wins the prize for the worst one in my memory), which was followed closely by gradually accelerating cold/flu symptoms. LoveHubbie has been sick with this, and pretty much everyone I know has too, but I'd thought I escaped it. Thus, I'm going to be burrowing in for the next two days and resting up while I detox. Seems like the timing is good. I'll start back up with BE BRAVE in the next few days, hopefully Monday, when I'm up to it. Right now I just want to read, play sudoku, sleep, watch movies,...and my nascent little yoga practice :)

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Friday, October 19, 2007


I dedicate this post to Kikipotamus the Hobo, who loves squirrels:

This is a drawing by Tinker (see here) from her blog Tinker Art:

Isn't this precious? Visit Tinker Art to see more of her work.

And here are some cute squirrels featured in the last several weeks from Cute Overload:

BE BRAVE: Day 20: Doing Things Differently

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 20.

Today I have a picture and a video for you. The video is 3:17 long. During the video, I reference Lori-Lyn's post today, which is here.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 19: Embracing Abundance

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 19.

Today I just have a video for you. It is 2:04 long. The two blogs I refer to in the video are Angela's Eclectic Recovery, and here's the post I speak of there, and Rick's Hamguin's Hide-Not (not Hideaway, as I say in the video). His comment can be found after this post on my blog (from yesterday).

Note: the short clip (6 seconds) that is very dark is me sitting in front of the fireplace. The glow is the coals of the fire :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 18.

I called this post "TBTYDADITGOOB", which stands for "The Bravest Thing You Do All Day Is To Get Out Of Bed". My day started out with waking up after five hours of sleep by the searing pain of a stubborn morning migraine, which has shared the entire day with me, despite medications. I laid there stunned by the pain. At the same time I experienced a crushing depression---it felt like there was a large, heavy hand on my chest, holding me in bed, while my thoughts whirled with the demands of the day and how much I didn't want to face them, especially accompanied by my migraine "friend".

And then I got up. That was the brave thing I did. It was that kind of day.

While I enjoyed "feeling my feelings" all day yesterday, last night was another matter. I blanked out, watched television and had a huge (albeit healthy) snack, my habitual way of spending late night hours and de-stressing---distracting instead of dealing. I zoned out and didn't even realize it until right before I went to bed a couple of hours later. When I remembered that I'd wanted to stay conscious all day I was pretty frustrated.

I'd anticipated feeling fear and anxiety and didn't want to feel it. However, it might not have been so bad. Other emotions might have been present, or else the fear and anxiety might have been better than unknowingly lapsing into unconsciousness. It might have even been good. I'm not giving up. Tonight, that's my project.

And I want to be gentle with myself, as this is a project that will take a long time to master, not just a day. However, I feel a real need to keep with this, pounding away at breaking through this wall. It just feels important to persevere. I'm afraid if I back off just yet I'll stay backed off for a long time, and I really want to be here now, hacking at the wall with an ax. I want to feel my bad day. I want to be present through my bad day.

My video today is just under two minutes long:

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga-Nut-Wanna-Be

I am continuing to enjoy my Tuesday night yoga class. LoveHubbie comes too, which is fun. It is a small and peaceful class with just a few students and the most wonderful yoga teacher on the planet, my friend Shannon.

It has been my desire to develop a personal practice, though. I've attempted this in the past and as of yet have never did successful. But I like yoga so much that I continue to try.

And as per the advice of Patti the Yoga Nut, I did the child pose earlier today to help cope with a nasty migraine. I'm going to spend some time tonight following a yoga tape, too. I love yoga, and want to be calm enough inside to be able to do it. I can do it if I'm being led by an instructor, but when I do it alone, I have no sense of time, and it provokes anxiety as I try to hold the poses for more than a second or two and keep my mind calm. So I'm hoping that the tape will simulate the class environment.

UPDATE: Having a yoga tape and being determined to make the time does the trick for me. I enjoyed myself!

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 17: Receiving the Good ---Part II

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 17.

Today I wanted to try to wrap my mind around the resistance I create to receiving good in my life.

I see this resistance when I begin to lose weight. I am thrilled and at the same time afraid, and for some reason totally unknown to me, I then feel compelled to eat more and more. In compensating in this way, I have avoided something, and I have no idea what it is. I don’t understand it either. I know that I want to lose weight, and a part of me is scared.

I really think that this part is scared of the good. I am quite familiar with and comfortable with struggle and striving and failure and frustration. Yep-per! But with ease, and allowing and embracing and success and smoothness I…have problems trusting this. It could all go away---it will go away---so I’d better not trust it or I’ll be disappointed again and again and again. There. That’s it.

Good things don’t happen to me. I don’t deserve them. Things that are real don’t come this easily. So if something that comes to me is good, I need to look, wait, protect myself hyper-vigilantly…because sooner or later it will fall apart, show its true colors, disappear, turn, abandon me, fall through, not be what I thought it was.

This is the wall that I want to pull down.

I have a lot of intense fear around losing weight, and around feeling my feelings instead of numbing them with food or alcohol. In "Women Who Run With the Wolves", which I just call "Wild Women" or WW, Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls these dysfunctional coping tools “soul stealing overindulgences”.

To address the fear of losing weight, I want to sit with the fear, and also attempt visualizing myself as healthy, energetic, light. I will deal then with what comes up. However, in order to do even this, I need to be able to feel my feelings. I’ve wanted to do this for some time but haven’t been able to figure out how. Every time I’ve tried in the past, I freak and turn the television or radio on or eat---anything to divert my attention from the feelings.

It doesn’t need to be a “bad” feeling either. I feel uncomfortable with “good” feelings like love, happiness, excitement, gratitude, etc. also.

Yesterday I wanted to try to feel my feelings and “got busy” and forgot about it all day. This is typically what happens. Then I “forget” about it for a long long time.

Well, today I haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve thought about it all day. It has felt good to feel my feelings, but mostly, it’s wildly interesting. Today I experienced frustration, irritation, lots of physical pain, fatigue, muscle soreness, peace, some pleasure (now, as I’m typing on Kaiolohia in a coffee shop), embarrassment, calmness,…Most unusually, I didn’t worry as much or think about much more than the present, because I have been so busy focusing on the now.

If I keep this up I may even be able to do yoga on my own or meditate :)

It feel very tentative though, and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue. Still, I want this to go on and on and on.

I haven’t experienced fear or anxiety yet. This usually happens at night. Pretty much every night. Which is one reason I have a hard time going to bed. When I feel so tied up with anxiety it is hard to lie down in bed in a dark silent room because my ego has a party, shifting into high gear and trying to work out all of the problems of the day. However, that’s been when I haven’t been feeling feelings throughout the day, but have been avoiding myself…who knows what will happen tonight?

Isn’t it funny that the bravest thing I’ll do so far has to do with facing myself?

~Pictures by LoveHubbie Mark, alteration by Me

Monday, October 15, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 16: Receiving the Good ---Part I

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 16.

I've just come off from taking a break this weekend, and it felt great. I had a chance to assimilate and process some of the changes at the mid-way mark of the BE BRAVE project. I mostly just lazed around, read "Women Who Run With the Wolves", and spent time with LoveHubbie, who had a cold and was stressed out and exhausted.

The book "Women Who Run With the Wolves", which I just call "Wild Women" or WW, was like water to my thirsty soul. I just drank it in. I only read about 150 pages, but it is a deep and intense book, and slowly wandering through it while reflecting on how it applied to my life made the experience much richer.

On Friday I'd gone to Curves to see if it would meet my needs for exercise, and unfortunately it didn't, so I said no to that as well. Normally I would have joined and forced myself to try to make it work and probably dropped out. In a like manner, I canceled my membership with eDiets (at considerable cost due to their no refund policy and considerable cancellation fee); this too, is something I would have endured despite seeing right away (as soon as I paid my admission fee and could see just what was offered---##&*{)(*#&(&@^#%%#!!) that this was not for me at all. It felt good to feel like I can say no to things that don't meet my needs at the time. This is a lesson that many of you may have mastered, but has caused me considerable distress for almost a half-century and I'm glad to finally feel like I have options. Of course, the distress has always been of my own making, but nevertheless, it still feels great!

On Saturday I had fun being brave and called to cancel our attendance at that party given by our friends. I was scared spitless, but loved that I was doing something brave, honoring myself and my needs. I got their answering machine, which made it waaay easier to cancel, and easier to simply say that I needed time to rest and be alone. But still, I did it!

On Sunday, I stood up for myself in a discussion with LoveHubbie. It ended up making out relationship better, and both LoveHubbie and I are much happier.

I really feel exponential growth due to BE BRAVE, and due to the healing support and acceptance of all of you. I want to thank each one of you who visits, and especially those who leave comments and/or email me, as your feedback has been what has given me the strength and courage to persist in this. There are no words to express my thanks....

Today I was thinking about what it means to receive the good. That is my latest struggle. It probably sounds strange, but when everything is good, I wonder what in the world is going on and wait for the other shoe to drop. I'm definitely not accustomed to things going well. Today I attempted to cope, but found myself for most of the day getting lost in work and other activities and trying to get my mind off of the idea because it feels so uncomfortable.

This is a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again for me. So tomorrow I will try again. I underestimated the strength of my avoidance and resistance. This resistance has stopped me in many areas of my life, and kept me from reaching my full potential; I am my own worst enemy and saboteur!

I will write Part II of this tomorrow, after I get my mind around what exactly is going on.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sacred Sunday: A Day of Rest, Hiatus

Today I am resting, processing the BE BRAVE journey, and relaxing. I'll be back tomorrow. Until then, love to all of you---yes, YOU, my community!

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Friday, October 12, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 15: No Regrets

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 15.

Today I was thinking about what it meant to have no regret.

This morning, I was a little sick of BEING BRAVE. I wanted to be a coward. Not, really, just a vegetable, vegging out instead of doing brave things. I craved down time. I wanted to just curl up in my reading nook and watch a movie, so I did. It was the movie "Evening", which had been recommended by Kate here. It moved me so much. It's about a woman who is on her deathbed who reviews her life; it's about her relationships throughout her life, including her relationships with each of her daughters. But it's about so much more. Mistakes. Regret. Choices. Just see it!

I immediately ordered it from Amazon, because it's a movie I'll watch again and again for the beauty of the story, for the acting, but especially for the story. I think I'll get different things from watching it at different points in my life.

I was thinking that we have regret sometimes from things we do, but for those of us who are fearful much of the time, we have regret from things we don't risk or attempt.

When my mother died from leukemia I was 23. She told me before she died that all she had to show for her entire life was regret. I knew that she was being honest. I decided that I wanted to never have any regret at all. I'm sure that there are minor things I regret, but there are no major things, because everything bad that has happened to me has lead me to many wonderful blessings. I have been through many, many hard things, but I can say that I have no regret.

So I wanted to take this down to a lower level, to the minor things. Today I DO regret that I didn't enjoy the day more and take some time to read. It was a beautiful, sunny day here. I did my errands and my computer work. ARRGGH! I want to live more in the moment and stop doing things that I know I really don't want to do at all. For me this would be being brave.

For example, there is a party this weekend that I don't want to go to. I've been dreading it today, a day early, trying to work a little harder because I'll "lose all that time" tomorrow. I love the people who invited us, and want to spend time with them in general. But not in a big group, not drinking all evening at a party (especially now, with my sobriety), and not when all I really want to do is relax. It's time for me to incubate again. So it would be brave for me to not go, and to not lie about it. To simply say, "I needed some time to rest and be alone.". Whether or not they could accept this would be up to them.

This may seem like a little challenge to some of you, but for me it's something I have yet to learn to do. It means honoring what I need more than what people expect of me or what might hurt someone's feelings or what LoveHubbie wants for me to do when our needs conflict. This particular weekend I need some peace. Because I don't want regret, even on a minor level.

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Thursday, October 11, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 14: Soldiering On

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 14.

Today my brave thing to do was to soldier on through the three user manuals for my AlphaSmart Neo. It was easier than I thought, but far from easy. Drudgery mixed with frustration and challenge.

The freeing thing was just doing it and knowing that procrastination (deep down fear) could not hold me back from taking these steps towards my goal. It was both hard and good. Best of all, I’m now DONE and really know how to use my AlphaSmart Neo, which I have named Kaiolohia, a Hawaiian name that means “peaceful sea” or “peace of mind”. She will be a key part of my tool arsenal in my NaNoWriMo journey next month.

Also today I took lots of measurements for my weight releasing program. I wasn’t going to weigh in pounds, but in kilograms, because I couldn’t face seeing what I actually weighed, but eDiets (my newly chosen form of support...something else new to learn) only shows progress in pounds, so I got to see my true weight. Facing reality. My mantra is “It’s only a number.”

Note to Self: I spent almost 5 hours yesterday with my talented friend Lisa getting my hair done and thought I looked BE-YU-TEE-FULL! Then today I styled my hair---VOILA! My look seems destined to be matter what I do :) Most perplexing of all, I thought I looked great all day until I saw this picture. It's okay, I can still love myself even though my nickname should be "mop top"!!


"Talent, it seems, is energy waiting to be released through an honest involvement in life. But so many of us check whether we have power with the main switch off---the switch being risk, curiosity, passion, and love."---Mark Nepo in "The Book of Awakening"

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

BE BRAVE: Day 13: Wellness Wednesday---Releasing Weight

BE BRAVE, otherwise known as "Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You", is the title of the month-long project inspired by Jessie. I am participating daily for a month. Today is Day 13.

This short video is only 51 seconds long.

UPDATE: I went to bed at 7pm and slept round the clock until 8am---13 hours! It was exactly what I needed.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark