Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beyond Here, There Be Monsters

175.2 lbs. Whatever.

Exercise-wise, it was a good day: Hour and a half on the elliptical and an hour of Pilates that really worked the core. Dawn broke for me a couple of weeks ago: when in the plank position (Top of a push-up; same for yoga or Pilates), tighten up/engage/clench those abdominal muscles. Not only does it make the position easier, but it works the friggin’ things and God knows mine need the work. Still can’t fasten the size 11 Levis 501 straight legs, but I’m getting closer every day. And if I suck in my gut (and with all the core muscle work, that’s getting deeper and deeper), I can see where the transverse abdominus goes. The oblique muscles aren’t quite as cooperative, but I’m not giving them a choice. Russell Simmons said, “Work is the prayer.” Well, to get a better body, I’m praying as hard as my body will take it.

Speaking of keeping on keeping on…

I subscribe to the Abraham-Hicks Quote of the Day. Esther Hicks channels a non-physical collective that calls itself Abraham and it offers advice on creative visualization and remaining positive (which, yes, we know is a coping mechanism, but so far, it’s working a lot better for me than any other one I’ve tried).  I will share today’s in a minute.

I had a long conversation with a friend today who was feeling nervous and scared about the future. We live in challenging times here in America. We’ve had to learn to take nothing for granted (September 11, 2001, thousands of people died just because they showed up for work), that job security is no longer a given and that the ones we can best rely on are ourselves because Congress is too busy trying to outmaneuver each other to get anything done for us (Lobbyists and big contributors: different story). As human beings, we have a tendency to look towards the dark side when looking into the future (except for “Star Trek” and “The Jetsons”).  Part of re-training people away from depending on drugs/alcohol/excessive food intake as coping mechanisms is the following: H.A.L.T.  as in “Don’t let yourself get too Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired.” There is a bio-chemical response to being too hungry or too tired that will make you sad, depressed and fearful. Angry, you’ll give yourself zits and an ulcer. When you feel physically lousy, your emotions will get dragged down, too and vice versa.  Lonely, well, I’m trying to come to grips with the notion of being found repulsive by men (and no, women are not an alternative) while, when I finally get into the shape I’ve wanted all my life, the world ends (Lousy Mayans).

It’s a scary damned world out there. But I sayeth unto you “Fear not.” (And if anyone thinks I’m blasphemous, oh, well. I’m not holding myself out as the Messiah).

The quote from Abraham:

“When you play the What-If? game, look for things that make you feel better. There is never a situation in  which there is not a way out—but, out of habit, most people continue to choose  the "lack" perspective until they eventually find themselves where it seems that there are no more choices. But as you hold to your intention to look for  evidence of Well-Being and thriving and success and happiness, you will tune  yourself to the vibrations of those things—and so those kinds of good-feeling  experiences will dominate your life.”

Gratitude is a good starting point for healthy coping. Tomorrow, the weather in L.A. is supposed to be L.A. winter lousy: chilly and rainy and gray (better than New England’s booger freezing -20 that I remember so well).

-          If you have a good roof over your head and you are warm (or whatever temperature you like) and dry, be thankful.

-          If you have food in your shelter (or the means to get food), be thankful.

-          If you are adequately clothed, give thanks.

According to the Maslow Hierarchy, your most basic physiological needs are met. You have a baseline.

-          If you have a functioning brain, you have an irreplaceable, invaluable tool. Always remember that.

-          If you have all of your limbs, they function and obey commands from your brain, you have even more tools.

-          If you have a friend/lover/trusted colleague with whom you can share ANYTHING and not be judged or, even better, they’ll help you figure out a solution to a problem, that’s another great tool.

-          (No disrespect to the atheist community intended) Faith can be a great source of strength. This is not limited to organized religion; faith in oneself is crucial to moving forward through life – to quote a successful Presidential campaign “Yes, We Can.” If you have to chant that or write it out in a notebook 100 times like Bart Simpson on the blackboard. (Fourth grade, I spent all of my recesses writing out crap on the board 100 times each because of a cranky old teacher who should have retired 500 years before she hit me for not being able to see the blackboard. She also liked to appoint the class snitches as room monitors. They didn’t like me, either. Fourth grade was miserable), do it.  “Tell yourself enough times until you believe it.” Yeah, do that.

Here’s the thing: if, in this moment, you’re okay, that’s enough. Got food, clothing and shelter? Okay. You’re good. Don’t look even 5 minutes into the future; right now, you’re all set. Did your team win the big game (Suck it, Ravens)? Be happy and grateful.

Poop happens (I’ve been gently chided for using rough language). You can either let it destroy you or figure out how to get past it. Sometimes, it’s piled up so high, you don’t think you can see past it, but there is always something beyond it. And don’t go looking for the poop because you will find it. Why? Because you are looking for it.

I am attaching a link to a video (which I’ve probably done before. So what. It’s a good video) that may give you some comfort (if you’re distressed).  I know the great people behind it.  It speaks the truth:

We all go on.
E hugs and Reiki.

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