A Testimonial: The Fight for life

Penned by a guest blogger.  This is her very first blog post and it is extremely powerful and moving.  Again, this is the unedited version that she wanted to be shared so all who choose to can experience her words in ‘full force’.

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I have to first start by apologizing profusely.   I am not a writer of any sort, although when I tell people my story they say I should write a book. But quite the contrary, a lady whom I may call friend found me in a slump of sorts, and suggested that I submit an entry to her blog in attempt to help with my revival.  Whelp.  Here I am, not a writer at all, doing none other than……..writing. So, to make a long story short, please bear with me. I will try to make this as painless as possible.

          Well, I have to confess. When I was asked to write about what inspires me, I was stumped.  I had been going through a depression of sorts.  I probably still am. But at the time that I spoke to her, I had just had a conversation with a co-worker in which the highlight was smoking legal weed.  Yup.  I was telling him how I wished that I had some form of terminal cancer so that I could get the prescription.  How I would carry a “QP” in my backpack and my paperwork and tell the cops where they could stick it…..yesss indeedy, this was one of those conversations.  There was a fellow co-worker who suggested that I wished for high-blood pressure instead of the cancer.  But when he met my eye, he saw something that made him squint. He said,” naahhhh. Don’t do that”, then he averted his stare.  I thought nothing of it. Just a conversation, right?  I did however notice that I had started drinking and smoking cigars more frequently, and I have been gaining back the weight that I lost. Feeling heavy and ugly and yet alone, I had been going back and forth in my head. “Should I do all of this work to keep the weight off?  For what? I have been single for almost 15 years, almost as long as I have had my job, which I hate. I was in school, doing great, and that dream got deferred too, me having run out of money and opportunity. What am I living for? I have tried to do right, tried to be right, tried prayer, meditation, yoga, bathed in the river, ocean, and in mud, read the Bible, Koran, Torah, and been well versed in the I Ching, and still. Here I am. At square one.  Is it worth it? What has this entire life been worth?”……. I would just sit on my couch and think and think and drink and smoke and eat and sit.  “I know I can’t take my own life because that has consequences, but what if I got cancer?”  Then suddenly I would feel better.  Just the thought of me being terminally ill made me feel so happy. It just felt right. I felt lighter. Liberated.  So free.  Like death would be the best thing that could happen in my life.  It would end all the problems and all the pain.  Just easy.  I mean, I really have nothing to live for. No children. No family of my own. I am nearing 40 years of age and have been on my own all my life. Alone. And I still am. Well, not really. The spirits are there, right? I’m joking. But, seriously.  I am well beyond childbearing age, in my mind, and this is not at all how I thought my life would be or wanted it to be, yet, here I am.  Just living to pay bills and to consume. But I have done all that I described earlier, so I would consider myself…..umm….spiritual.  Surprised? I know. Me too. I would have thought that I would be floating on a mountain by now…..all the Ohms that I have chanted…smdh. But nope. I am just here on my couch just like so many people wondering if my life is even worth the effort. I mean, like I said, I have done all the spiritual things that I described so I know good and dammed well what I need to do. How to meditate to lift my energy levels and plant seed-thoughts to counter negative feelings…..yup. I know. I have consulted so many gurus that I have 30 different ways to move up the same street. So why the funk??

          Well, what I can say is that over the years all the opening of chakras has enabled me a very keen sense of hearing and a deeper and more elaborate sense of what is going on around me. I have been able to experience many things. But one of the most important things that I have learned is that I am my own savior. At no point in this testimonial have you heard me blame anyone for any predicament that I have been in, or for my present state of depression. I haven’t done that because I know that I have the power inherent in me of the eternal poolspring of energy  to which I owe my existence, and because of this I was born with everything I need to succeed. So why am I sitting on my couch rotting, you say? I heard you. Well, we learn all of these things, but when the “schlep” hits the fan, we want them to exist in a neutral space where everything is Zen. No. that is not how the ancestors intended for them to be used. It is precisely when you feel like death is a better option that meditation becomes your sword and shield. It is when you feel like your life is not worth fighting for that the movements and asana of yoga become the grace by which you are saved. But it is you who must become the plow in order for that to happen.

      The Psalms do work to uplift the mood if prayed meaningfully and consistently. Most of the time, we are our own failure. We never give our lives a chance. We get so much in every step we take and we just forsake all and look at what we don’t have, because life doesn’t follow our “script”.

I told you that I have a keen sense of hearing, right? Well there is a voice in my head that talks to me in times that I am depressed. I would tell you what happened the last time I felt this way, but this is just a blog, not a book.  Anywho, the voice, right? It’s a she. And she says to me, “Look at you. All that you have. All that you know and you just let it all go. Then you blame us for your problems. You just don’t get it, do you? Oh, you get it alright. You just don’t want to do the work. Ok. Just sit there. Eventually I will leave. And so will the rest of us. It is not your time, it is Gods time. You know this. You also know that you are being challenged to develop yourself.  You have been told what you have come here to do. You have many people to help.  It is okay to be tired. We understand that this life has been truly difficult for you, so we let you go. Drink and smoke. Do your thing. But don’t act like you don’t have what you need. There are so many things that you have learned. And you just sit. You to the river and then you come back home and sit. You know better. So we don’t even talk to you anymore about it. But at the end of the day, you only have yourself to blame and you know it. You sulk and brood and try to kill yourself. Don’t think that you will succeed. You will fail. Your life will be long and miserable.  And the next time you come it will be worse.  You know it is up to you. You have been given far more than many, yet you sit here and brood. Your own life is your only testimony and it is your best. Yet you throw away your magic tortoise and look in the mirror and make your mouth droop?”……….. Oh yes. This is what I heard. 

A few days later, I had a conversation that was very similar with the person who invited me to do this entry for her blog. The conversation was similar, but not as admonishing.  That is because she had been feeling similarly and did what she knew to deliver herself. And as a result she is renewed and strong and duly blessed.  She was very inspirational to me. And that voice that I heard? She has been with me for a long time. These two have managed to inspire me to continue to fight for my life. To have a life and really live it.   I have begun meditating again, and I have resolved to go back on my diet full force. I will buy a new juicer, as my old one died, and start with a juice fast. How do I feel? Pretty much the same. But I have resolved within myself not to give up on my life. To let my future success be my inspiration. And with the little energy that I have, I will fight for my life. To really and truly live and not just survive.

I would like to thank my ancestors for being with me, and never letting me go. It is because of you that I have been bent, but never broken.  And I would like to thank you blog lady for really living your life without scripts or the limitations that come with them.  Allowing yourself the leeway to make mistakes and move on, seizing triumph in your own personal struggle. Thank you for allowing your life to be an inspiration for me in living my own.  

Lastly, I would like to thank you all for reading.  Please, for the sake of this world, be your own inspiration. You already have all you need. We need you.  

Peace, love and light be unto all of you from this day forth and forever more.

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The Greater Than Yourself Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us and most of us are scrambling, or beginning to scramble, to get gifts for our loved ones.  I just finished watching iCarly.  My kids love the show but I watched it when they were otherwise occupied.

This silly kids’ show is one of my favorite shows because the relationships between the characters are so realistic and true to life.  There’s always a kid with a hard luck life story and there’s always a kid whose parent(s) are a bit overzealous.

But this isn’t really about iCarly nor is it about the holiday season.  It’s about true friendships, love  and support.

What is love?  What is support?  What does having a true friend , or a great family member really mean?  Tonight’s episode of iCarly shows the meaning of true friendship and love.  It means loving someone in spite of their faults and being willing – even eager – to participate in their general insanity (which is that person’s normal!).

When you suspend your own beliefs and withhold judgment you are functionally saying that you care deeply about that person and are willing to cut them some slack.  By contrast, you also have the definition for someone you don’t care for – someone for which you don’t cut ANY slack.

Love is a double-edged sword as many of us know and may even have experienced but if you’ve never loved before you cannot truly understand how alive it makes you feel.  To love someone or something so much that you would put them as your priority is a very liberating thing.

On the radio the other day, I heard of a book about this same idea of participating in something greater than yourself and how by functioning this way it makes the person who does this a leader, a hero, a person of note.  The book’s called “Greater Than Yourself” by Steve Farber. 

Love is a very important emotion for people and it’s great to see that this principle was weaved in so expertly in a simple children’s program.  Who says that all of TV is horrible?  Ooops.  That may have been me…

Happy Holidays!

~ Songscream

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I must be doing something wrong…

Look at today’s music news.  Rapper Nas has to pay his estranged wife, Kelis, $51,000 A MONTH for child support and spousal support (read: alimony).  When I got a divorce, I had to fight for child support!  I must be doing something wrong here.

 I’m not saying Kelis is/was in this relationship for the money but this woman is now going to be very well taken care of and so is her child – for life – if she’s smart and invests the money she will be receiving.  But wait a minute, the report says this was upped from $40,000 a month.

 Hey, I’ll take that too!  I don’t need just over $600K a year.  I can make do with a measly $480,000 a year.  It will be a struggle but I think I’m up to the challenge…

 Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife gets $40K a month also  but Hogan wants to reduce it (what rich guy wouldn’t???) because he says she’s using the money for illicit drugs.

 Then there’s Kate Walsh who’s trying to stop paying alimony to her ex-husband; no report on how much she’s shelling out but you’re darn tootin’ it’s a lot or else she’d put up and shut up.

 Again.  I must be doing something wrong.  Why haven’t I recognized that the way to have a steady income of thousands of dollars is to marry a rich guy?  But, there’s a few requisite things that a woman must have or obtain before she attempts this:

 1)      possess/buy large…assets

2)      visit a dermatologist daily

3)      visit a gym hourly

4)      have the hair stylist’s number on speed dial

5)      have a credit card reserved solely for facial products, skin care & makeup

6)      have a foreign accent

7)      Botox injection in the lip area (optional)

8)      Spanx collection (for the more mature ladies…)

9)      Have a million dollar smile (literally)

10)  Have a great personality (optional)

 Okay, so I’m being a bit facetious…a tad.

 If you’ve got any suggestions on what I can do to make even $10K a month – let me know!  As long as it’s not illegal, does not require me to lay flat on my back, does not entail me ingesting weird slimy objects – well, you get the point.

 Ta-ta for now.

~ Songscrem

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Blogging as a Contribution to Society

Blogging is not just something people do.  It’s a way of living.  Bloggers are passionate, bold, eccentric – human.  What is it about blogging that makes people stay up until all hours of the night writing and writing for a handful of people who follow them?  It’s all about expression; sharing who you are with others virtually.  It’s a way of living beyond your physical earthly years and having a ‘voice’ for the generations to come.  It’s the new way of living forever.  But now, you can live in Technicolor and in full audio.

 This past Spring, Michael Jackson left this world for good.  If you were not totally inundated with his funeral media madness you would not believe he’s dead.  New music of his is playing.  His videos are being downloaded like crazy.  And a movie was just released of his rehearsal for the concert that was never to be.  It’s as if he’s still here – somewhere.  That’s what blogging is like; still being here when you’re not.  The goal is to leave a mark on the world like Michael did.

Albert Einstein  made a mark on the world as well.  (Duh.)  Not only for his genius in mathematics but for his personal beliefs and philosophy.

What kind of mark will you leave? 

Will your spouse leave?  Your children leave?  Thinking about your contribution to society and attempting to leave behind you a cohesive mark is a noble idea and one we should strive to achieve.  Even if it’s in a minor way such as recycling as much as you possibly can your contribution leaves a cleaner, less cluttered world for our collective great-great-great-grandchildren.

What have you done so far in your life that will make a difference for future generations?

Ta-ta for now but before you go let’s remember the King of Pop in “You Rock My World”.

 ~ Songscream

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Does Stinkyness Help??

I’m listening to President Obama’s speak on Afghanistan.  He’s at West Point.  I listen and listen and hear the disgruntled thoughts of thousands of service men and women.  I hear the collective angst of the millions of Americans who feel this war is unjust and want it to end.

 I also hear the pain in Obama’s voice when explaining why he’s reversing his campaign pledge to bring our troops home.  I sense the wolves at the door…

 But I digress.   Or do I?  This is a stinky situation.  Read on.

 Today’s diatribe is all about stinky situations including this war.   While going to an appointment I passed by a block that had two Ginkgo Biloba trees on it.  The seeds were all over the ground burst open spewing their inglorious scent for all to trod on and carry said scent with them.

 Chinese people pick these seeds up and take them home to make tea.  Why would they bother with this stinky pod?  Increased memory?  Improved mental faculties for those suffering from dementia and from Alzheimer’s?  Sure to both.  But did you know that Ginkgo helps people with peripheral vascular disease (PVD)?  A current article from WebMD  shares new findings from the November 24th, 2009 journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes

 Do I have PVD?  Nope.  So, why am I so fascinated by this factoid?  Simply this.  A stinky herb can greatly help people with a myriad of health ailments.  So how come a stinky life situation cannot help in a similar way?

 To clarify, say you fall and break your leg.  Stinky situation right?  So, what’s the benefit of breaking one’s leg?  I guess for each person there would be a different answer.  But say you’re a track star; a broken leg is of no benefit.  But, for an overworked nurse a broken leg could mean some time to herself (or himself) to reflect on their life and all the things in it.  A silver lining, if you will.  See Jennifer Deschler’s blog for an example.

So, a stinky situation can possibly have a good effect.  But, you have to be in the right frame of mind to see the positive in it all.  How do you find the positive when a young child dies?  How do you find a positive in a nasty court case?  How do you find the positive in a snarly car accident?  How do you find the positive when a loved one dies?

 These are all very emotional situations and each one has different nuances for the people that these occurrences befall.  The answer will be different from person to person.  In fact many people will not see any benefit in a young child dying, or a loved one dying.  There are no positives in death, right?

 I’m not here to change anyone’s mind.  I’m just asking you to consider what you feel to be stinky/bad/undesirable situations and trying to find anything positive that has come from the situation.  Many times, people have completely transformed their lives because they went through a horrendous situation one they would never wish on their worst enemy.

 What would the person who is experiencing lung cancer who smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day say to a person lighting up for the first time?  What would a mother whose child died while playing with fire tell a young child who is fascinated with firecrackers?  Yeah these may be obvious but what about the parent who has a child with similar traits as themselves.  How does that parent convey their painful life experiences so that the child hears them?

 Finding the silver lining takes a certain amount of detachment and a great deal of taking oneself in hand so you manage yourself and your own emotions.  If you don’t you’ll never find anything other than the despair stinky situations spew.

 Enjoy your reflections…

 ~ Songscream

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The Trouble With Pictures…

The trouble with pictures is they remind you of things you’d rather forget.  Not always.  There are things you’d like to recall from previous times but do you really want to bring back the in-the-moment picture of you doing something stupid?  Or, when you were caught unawares in the midst of a real-life blooper?  Probably not.

 But in other ways — when you were in a pleasant moment that you don’t want to forget ever — pictures are great.  So, why don’t I like them?  <shrug>  Who knows.  That’s why the world’s full of psychologists and others of this ilk.

 This week pictures have come to the fore in my life not because of a moment I wanted to capture but because I wanted to document what was and what now is.  For me, purpose is more important than sentiment when it comes to pictures.  (Yeah, yeah, I know.  Strange.)

 So, when I began having asthma symptoms and had to rush to the ER because I couldn’t breathe a series of events brought me to the clear fact that the carpeting in my home had to be removed – immediately.  But, I had no idea what was underneath.  Well, when I pulled it up and found a plain floor (see image below) all plans for a great hardwood floor went out the window.  I had to figure out what was going down on the floor to make it allergen-proof, durable and looked good.

 Off to Home Depot I went.  Me.  The person who has 3 left hands, cannot draw or cut in a straight line and swoons when a hammer or screwdriver is brought forth.

 So, I head towards the flooring section and after conferring with a knowledgeable Home Depot flooring expert, I picked up Allure Resilient Flooring .  No tools necessary (except a carpet cutter).  No messy glue (it comes attached to each ‘tile’).  No real expertise needed (except how to fit right angles together).  I figured I could do this!

Unfinished Floor

 This is what it looked like before I started.

 Now this is what it looks like…

 Finished Floor!

 But looking at the before and after pictures made me think about other types of pictures; the life moments pictures.  I began skimming the 900+ photos I have and realized that life is full of moments.  Yes, there are bad moments but there are SO many good moments.  I began thinking that if you fill up your mind with the good moment pictures maybe, just maybe you may be able to skate over the bad moments in life.  That’s what a big part of The Secret is all about; keeping a positive attitude no matter what’s going on in your life.

To that I add, when you’re feeling down do something that will lift your spirits.  Do something that will assuage your soul and make you smile from ear to ear.  If that’s baking your favorite cookie for yourself, if that’s grabbing a friend and hitting the movies or a great theme park, if that’s cuddling up with a great book or a cool DVD – do it.  You’ll be so much more relaxed and happier for it.

Enjoying the moment

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Today’s rant will be on EXPLETIVES…

My oldest son and I were speaking about our respective days and I spoke of a client who almost used expletives in speaking with me.  My concern, in the moment, was to placate the client.  You know the old adage, ‘the customer is always right’, however, I did not want to be taken advantage of as other things were said regarding me selling the client something they did not want.  This was not the case and the restrained emotion I felt colored the situation and put extra starch into my professionally courteous tones.

However, this incident started a trend of thought in my mind that continued into the conversation with my soon-to-be 13 year old son many hours later. 

What’s the history behind not using expletives?  Why not use expletives if that’s what you’re feeling?  The energy of those unspoken words still surfaces and advises the situation (in many cases…).  So, why not just allow the words you truly mean to come out?  Thereby making exchanges much more truthful and honest?

I can guarantee that there would be less cardiac arrest, less stress and many more content people in the workplace.  When an engine blows off steam, it allows the entire unit to remain functional and stable, right??  So, how come people are so different?????

While all of this is tongue-in-cheek, there is a true question in all of this – should expletives be banned from TV airwaves to protect our precious ears and our children’s innocence from profanity?  This was a national issue just a short time ago.

On April 28th, 2009, the Supreme Court wrestled with the topic of expletives on TV here in the US.  The general idea that the winning Justices seem to believe is that Hollywood propitiates expletive language and that the American people (in small towns) don’t use expletives.  It’s big city folks who do.  [Yeah, sure.  I’ll buy that as well as that big bridge…]

Which small towns are the Justices thinking about??  (Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the high court’s opinion.)  To find out more about this, read about it here.

However, to have a lighter and a much more truthful conversation about this topic, read this lovely little forum about expletives, I think you’ll enjoy the different expressed opinions.  [Note: For those easily offended by expletives, do not read this forum!]

You’ll fall off your chair after reading Norman Lear’s response the day after the Justices’ written opinion.  Read Lear’s comments here.

Even the New York Times weighed in on the issue of profanity in society back in 2005.  The title of this work?  Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore.

Don’t you just love it? 

I have nothing more to say, it’s already spoken.  After reading these articles and posts, I totally understand that expletives have evolved from it’s previously plebian origins.  No longer is only the lower class using profanity – everyone is!

Ta-ta for now,

Songscream

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