Friday, June 15, 2018

Integrity Sacraficed

On the alter of Positivity.

Recently I was reminded what is wrong with the constant quest for being positive.  People only tell half the story.  People lie to cover up problems.  People deny that problems exist.  Integrity is seeking the truth, the good, bad, and the ugly.  Some people say it calling a Spade a Spade.  I grew up this way and sadly encouraged my children to only tell me the good in their day.  When my kids grew up, we had conversations of how they thought their problems were not important enough to share with me. Now I am seeing another negative thing about only focusing on the positive, people start to believe that only the positive exists.  If you bring up the down side, they don't want to hear it. 

Imagine for a moment that you are out looking for a house.  You only look at the positive you ignore the evidence of termites or a cracked foundation or damaged roof.  All expensive items if neglected.  Yet people are condoning ignoring the imperfections in ourselves in the name of positivity.  More than once I read people writing how messed up they were then declaring, "This is just the way I am."  Really.  I will be the first to agree that every person messes up some time.  I am all for looking for the best in people.  But dog gone it, if I go to the doctor office and complain that I have a broken leg, I don't expect the doctor to exclaim in delight that my lungs are healthy.  I want my leg fixed.  I am not doing myself any favors by saying that the broken leg is just the way I am. 

Thorns and roses. 

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. 

However, if we deny that roses have thorns we will be painfully reminded.  I am an advocate of balanced integrity.  Not everything is all bad and not everything is all good.  There is darkness and light.  A picture with out dark areas is really boring.  The beauty is seeing how the dark brings out the beauty of the light.  I believe that I will evaluate my behavior.  Listen to feedback from others then working towards becoming my best self. 

The dark water accentuates the white water bubbling up. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


I try to sit quietly and all chaos breaks out in my head....I find process art far more effective at creating a place to explore inner peace.  My inner peace is more like crashing cymbals and fire works.  However, I know many people that find meditation a blissful way to zone out and find peace. 

Anyway, I came across this link that explains the workings and how-to for meditation.  I read it over and I may attempt it some day.  I need to be in very safe stable environment to try to mess with my mind.  For me, it is like the moment I hold still and try to quiet my mind all this 'stuff'  both positive and negative come screaming at me. 

Maybe I need to apply what I learned with coping.  I can do anything for 5 minutes. 

Japa Prayer

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Description of depression

Shared by my friend on this is from a friend of a friend.

A friend of a friend wrote this... Long ish but worth reading because it's a freaking brilliant metaphor for depression. They don't want credit. Copy, paste, and share.
Now Anthony Bourdain.

When you have depression it’s like it snows every day.

Some days it’s only a couple of inches. It’s a pain in the ass, but you still make it to work, the grocery store. Sure, maybe you skip the gym or your friend’s birthday party, but it IS still snowing and who knows how bad it might get tonight. Probably better to just head home. Your friend notices, but probably just thinks you are flaky now, or kind of an asshole.

Some days it snows a foot. You spend an hour shoveling out your driveway and are late to work. Your back and hands hurt from shoveling. You leave early because it’s really coming down out there. Your boss notices.

Some days it snows four feet. You shovel all morning but your street never gets plowed. You are not making it to work, or anywhere else for that matter. You are so sore and tired you just get back in the bed. By the time you wake up, all your shoveling has filled back in with snow. Looks like your phone rang; people are wondering where you are. You don’t feel like calling them back, too tired from all the shoveling. Plus they don’t get this much snow at their house so they don’t understand why you’re still stuck at home. They just think you’re lazy or weak, although they rarely come out and say it.
Some weeks it’s a full-blown blizzard. When you open your door, it’s to a wall of snow. The power flickers, then goes out. It’s too cold to sit in the living room anymore, so you get back into bed with all your clothes on. The stove and microwave won’t work so you eat a cold Pop Tart and call that dinner. You haven’t taken a shower in three days, but how could you at this point? You’re too cold to do anything except sleep.

Sometimes people get snowed in for the winter. The cold seeps in. No communication in or out. The food runs out. What can you even do, tunnel out of a forty foot snow bank with your hands? How far away is help? Can you even get there in a blizzard? If you do, can they even help you at this point? Maybe it’s death to stay here, but it’s death to go out there too.
The thing is, when it snows all the time, you get worn all the way down. You get tired of being cold. You get tired of hurting all the time from shoveling, but if you don’t shovel on the light days, it builds up to something unmanageable on the heavy days. You resent the hell out of the snow, but it doesn’t care, it’s just a blind chemistry, an act of nature. It carries on regardless, unconcerned and unaware if it buries you or the whole world.

Also, the snow builds up in other areas, places you can’t shovel, sometimes places you can’t even see. Maybe it’s on the roof. Maybe it’s on the mountain behind the house. Sometimes, there’s an avalanche that blows the house right off its foundation and takes you with it. A veritable Act of God, nothing can be done. The neighbors say it’s a shame and they can’t understand it; he was doing so well with his shoveling.

I don’t know how it went down for Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade. It seems like they got hit by the avalanche, but it could’ve been the long, slow winter. Maybe they were keeping up with their shoveling. Maybe they weren’t. Sometimes, shoveling isn’t enough anyway. It’s hard to tell from the outside, but it’s important to understand what it’s like from the inside.

I firmly believe that understanding and compassion have to be the base of effective action. It’s important to understand what depression is, how it feels, what it’s like to live with it, so you can help people both on an individual basis and a policy basis. I’m not putting heavy shit out here to make your Friday morning suck. I know it feels gross to read it, and realistically it can be unpleasant to be around it, that’s why people pull away.

I don’t have a message for people with depression like “keep shoveling”. It’s asinine. Of course you’re going to keep shoveling the best you can, until you physically can’t, because who wants to freeze to death inside their own house? We know what the stakes are. My message is to everyone else. Grab a fucking shovel and help your neighbor. Slap a mini snow plow on the front of your truck and plow your neighborhood. Petition the city council to buy more salt trucks, so to speak.

Depression is blind chemistry and physics, like snow. And like the weather, it is a mindless process, powerful and unpredictable with great potential for harm. But like climate change, that doesn’t mean we are helpless. If we want to stop losing so many people to this disease, it will require action at every level.

My Comment:
Adding a layer of guilt, ridiculing their lack of faith, underlining that there is something wrong with them are not helpful. I already beat myself other people do not need to add their 2 cents worth of "If you would only........"

My friend shared a link

Five steps
1. Ask
2. Keep them safe (if possible)
3. Be there
4. Help them connect
5. Follow up


Friday, June 8, 2018

Grudge or not

Ever been told to stop holding a grudge and do X, Y, or Z?  Ever noticed that the person accusing you of holding a grudge is trying to manipulate you? 

I like going to dictionary meetings.  I did copy this and shared the reference. 

1. noun
a feeling of ill will or resentment: to hold a grudge against a former opponent.
  1. adjective done, arranged, etc., in order to settle a grudge: The middleweight fight was said to be a grudge match.
verb (used with object), grudged, grudg·ing.
  1. to give or permit with reluctance; submit to unwillingly: The other team grudged us every point we scored.
  2. to resent the good fortune of (another); begrudge.
verb (used without object), grudged, grudg·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to feel dissatisfaction or ill will.

Origin of grudge

1400–50; late Middle English grudgen, gruggen, variant of gruchen < Old French gro(u)c(h)ier < Germanic; compare Middle High German grogezen to complain, cry out
Related formsgrudge·less, adjectivegrudg·er, nounun·grudged, adjective


See more synonyms on
1. bitterness, rancor, malevolence, enmity, hatred. Grudge, malice, spite refer to ill will held against another or others. A grudge is a feeling of resentment harbored because of some real or fancied wrong: to hold a grudge because of jealousy; She has a grudge against him. Malice is the state of mind that delights in doing harm, or seeing harm done, to others, whether expressing itself in an attempt seriously to injure or merely in sardonic humor: malice in watching someone's embarrassment; to tell lies about someone out of malice. Spite is petty, and often sudden, resentment that manifests itself usually in trifling retaliations: to reveal a secret out of spite. 4. envy.

 I looked through a couple of dictionary meanings to find one that fit what I thought of as a good definition.  I was interested by one of the dictionaries using the word grudge in sentences saying, "He doesn't grudge......"  To me, that is telling me what it isn't. 
Grudge is a feeling.  It is how you feel and motivation for what you are doing.  As mentioned above it is a dark negative emotion.  Now, if you read my blog long enough you will note that I embrace all emotions including dark negative ones.  To me, if I am feeling like I am holding a grudge towards someone that is my emotions waving a massive red flag that I have unresolved issues that need my attention.  I want to resolve those issues.  Sometimes that takes quite a bit of work, time and effort.  

The thing that I learned that sometimes the reason I do not want to interact with or do what a person wants me to do is not about holding a grudge.  I may not want to do something because I am doing something else.  Or I have no desire to do what I am asked to do.  Accusing me of holding a grudge to manipulate me, yea I was trained by a pro, I'll spot that a mile away and say no. I learned that making decisions from a place of bitterness, resentment, and hatred I am rarely satisfied with end results.  I am choosing a life based on what I want to do.  Choosing a course of action based on a grudge is a reaction to their behavior.  I don't want to do that.  To me, emotional freedom means my abusers and negative past experiences will no longer control what I do or don't do.  

I'll share a life example.  I was told that my refusal to visit my mother was holding a grudge against her.  That could be true.  She did enough to certainly earn some fairly high levels of bitterness and rancor.  However, I worked a long time to resolve those issues with her.  Bottom line, my mother is not safe for me to be around.  I wish her no ill.  I know from my experience that for me to be around my mother is unhealthy for me.  She let me know more than one time she has no regrets in how she treated me and to my face justified why she did what she did to hurt me.  I can't change her.  I don't need to.  Her choices are hers.  However, my not visiting her is not about me holding a grudge, my decision is about respecting myself enough to keep a safe distance.  

Part of the healing process is to take control of my life based on my values.  I believe that if I allow my negative feelings to make my decisions towards those that hurt me, they are still controlling me.  No, just no.  My abusers controlled me long enough.  I am giving them their eviction notice out of my head....therefore, I will resolve the feelings of bitterness, rancor, and hatred I feel towards them.  I am thankful for the counselor that taught me forgiveness is NOT reconciliation.  I can forgive a person's action but if their attitude towards me does not change, I believe it is foolishness on my part to put myself back in harms way.  Walking away does not mean I am holding a grudge.  Sometimes it just means I have better things to do with my time.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Design

I shared a post an product vs.  process art on my other blog.....

Art unleashes the mind to new areas yet unexplored.  Creating process art there is no such thing as a mistake, just a new design.  My friend told me about a Buddah Board.... Paint with water....water dries and paint again and again and again.

Examples of process art would be finger painting, sand castles, pour painting, photographic montage, abstract anything goes art, collage, corn meal in a pan, sand at the beach, the list is never ending.  I like the quote from the other blog:

 If a parent whispers to you, “What is it?” Then, guess what…it is process art! 

A few examples of my process art:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


One of the many avenues to reach inside yourself and pull out goop and process it is through music.  Some people moan....I have no musical talent...or I can play a radio or MP-player.....or a thousand other excuses. is the deal. You can drum.  You can drum on line and put your head phones on and no one hears it but you.  The rhythm.  The sound.  The focus on something out side of your head. 

I used this more than once on a bad night when my thoughts were like crashing cymbals.  Actually crashing cymbals on this web page worked for me.

Ted Talks
 Shares the scientific back ground as to how drumming helps in multiple ways.
1. boosts the immune system
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
3. Fun
 Mostly drumming with some information

Amazing performances

Cool thing about drumming is I've taught it to toddlers.  Preschoolers love making their own instruments.  Bottom of pans is a favorite.  Empty oat meal boxes are instant drums.  Two sticks or wooden spoons or metal spoons for a different sound. 

Enjoy the Rhythm of the drum. 

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