Monday, March 29, 2010

This! Just this.

Someone Who Can Kiss God

Come to my house late at night--
Do not be shy

Hafiz will be barefoot and dancing.

I will be
In such a grand and generous mood!

Come to my door at any hour,
Even if your eyes

Are frightened by my light.

My heart and arms are open

And need no rest--

They will always welcome you.

Come in, my dear,
From that harsh world

That has rained elements of stone

Upon your tender face.

Every soul
Should receive a toast from us

For bravery!

Bring all the bottles of wine you own

To this divine table--the earth

We share.

If your cellar is empty,
This whole Universe

Could drink forever

From mine!

Let's dine tonight with exquisite music.
I might even hire angels

To play--just for you.


Hidden beneath your feet

Is a Luminous Stage

Where we are meant to rehearse

Our Eternal Dance!

And what is the price of my Divine Instructions?

What could I ask of you?

All I could ever want

Is that

You have the priceless company

Of Someone

Who can Kiss God,

That you have the priceless gift
Of becoming a servant to the Friend!

Come to my window, dear world--
Why ever be shy?

Look inside my playful Verse,
For Hafiz is Barefoot and Dancing

And in such a Grand and Generous--

In such a Fantastic Mood.

Hafiz (1320-1389 Beloved Persian Poet),
from I Heard God Laughing

the view widens...

Prob'ly I should keep these thoughts to myself, but this is where I think, so....

(Feel free to skip over this.)

Yet again I can relate this book to my broader vision or philosophy -

(Talking about the negative, depressive voices we hear -and listen to- in our heads)
"What is most debilitiating about negative thinking is that those voices slip in the back way, unannounced, and start taking over the sound system and manipulating our feelings. As psychologist William Kanaus says, "You can tell a depressive thought by its results, you feel worse." Falling prey to emotional reasoning, we mistake feeling bad as validation of the thoughts, when actually it's just a natural and temporary reaction to hearing something unpleasant; it doesn't permanently change the reality of what is true. We need a bouncer at the door of our mind who informs us through the intercom, "This is your negativity talking. This is not a voice to be trusted." to protect us from the effects of just letting that voice in."
Tamar E. Chansky, Freeing Your Child From Negative Thinking

Though I usually muddle through these things on my own - and do alright, mostly (if very, very slowly) - it is very reassuring to read about such things in a book, and know that someone has an idea or two about switching things around.

I am wholeheartedly a person who believes in not only "what you think about grows", but also that "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change", and so I try my best to slam the door on the negative thoughts pretty quickly and effectively.

We'll see what the ideas are here about changing the relationship with the thoughts, and how that relates to my own ideas of "wanting to feel good".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sharing...about Negative Thinking

I had to share this, just in case it will be as.... salvaging... to someone as it has been (immediately) to me.

My son isn't a dark and moody person.
But I do have trouble with his emotions, and the explosiveness of them.
Just the ones that come from frustration... the rest I am at ease with.

I always say that he comes by it honest, as his Mama and Daddy are both emotional, "wear it on your sleeve" people.
And the three of us (Eric, Trev, and me) have to pay close attention to oncoming feelings of stress, and get it (physically) out of our bodies, otherwise we're explosive and agitated.
If it doesn't come out of us through intentional exercise, it will come out at the expense of those around us. Something that took me way too long to realize. [Rolls eyes at herself.]

So Trev's not a "doom and gloom" kind of kid.
But he does tend to tailspin, and does get sucked into a dramatic vortex of "Oh, I'm the worst person, ever!" from time to time. (Of course to this we always "No, you're not, Bud, everyone makes mistakes, it's no big deal..."
But it is always the same, and whatever I offer doesn't help.
This has been a sore subject with me particularly the last year. Most of my Mama Complaints have to do with this subject. (My complaints are never "something is wrong with my child's behavior", but rather "there is this problem, and it's up to me to fix it, and I don't know how."
"I don't know how to reach Trev."
"There's a disconnection, and I don't like it."
"I don't know how to deal with this angst."

In steps Freeing Your Child From Negative Thinking, by Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D.
I have never even heard of this book.
I was online at my library's page, and requesting "Raising Your Spirited Child" and "The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child", and at the bottom of the page, were similar books, and Freeing Your Child From Negative Thinking.

Couldn't hurt, I thought.
And, as it happens, it came to my library immediately.

Let me just share a few things with you.

Jaw-droppers, for me.
A person who absolutely and unequivocally believes that we have the power to heal or harm ourselves with our thoughts, and in the whole microcosm/macrocosm Universe.

(A little sidenote: Seratonin in the brain can not only be raised by acts of kindness, but it is also raised simply by witnessing acts of kindness.)

  • "The relationship between behavior and neurotransmitters is reciprocal, a two-way street: Serotonin impacts behavior and mood, but behavior impacts serotonin levels as well. When our mood is low, we may have less serotonin available, but when we make changes in our mood or behavior, they register as changes in brain activity as well. In other words, our biochemistry both reflects how we have learned to respond to situations and may dictate our tendencies to respond in certain ways. This process of changing brain mapping through changes in behavior is what neurobiologists refer to as neuroplasticity. And it is why we can have confidence that if we engage in cognitive behavioral techniques, "depression can be cured", in the words of Martin Selgman.
(Very satisfying to find a that there is a scientific name for the body/mind/creating connection... Neuroplasticity.)

  • "..... The second strategy for working on neutral thinking is to neutralize the punch of the negative by doing nothing short of simply accepting it-- embracing it wholeheartedly.
Aah. Mindfulness. :)

  • Flexing neutral muscles: "What may seem like an exercise in good etiquette is actually cultivating the discipline of observing life without judgments, criticisms, and comparisons. For example, the comments above" (which were "That broccoli is so disgusting!" and "Charlie is such a slob!") "...could be rephrased humorously as follows: "This darkish green treelike vegetable is the champion of bitterness, and it is remarkably tough"' "Charlie is a great collector of things, and keeping things neat and organized is his next great challenge." Asking children to become impartial observers of things outside themselves will be especially crucial when the judgments and criticisms are aimed at them."
So after skipping around a bit, and reading these two gems, I decided that I need to actually read the book from cover to cover.
So I began it.
And found this:
  • "The problem is that parents may feel daunted by learning how to help their child create these new tracks. Their responses to this point - frustratingly ineffectual - have been either to rush in with reassurance or, after reassurance exhausts everyone and gets nowhere, to get fed up and say, "Enough!" which leaves them feeling like horrible, insensitive parents. [ahem.] Parents' uneasiness and uncertainty about how to approach their child [yeah. ahem again] is not lost on the child and only rocks an already wayward, unbalanced vessel." (Which is the whole reason for my trying to figure this out... I want my child to be emotionally healthy, and am not sure how to point him in the right direction... as I was never really given any tools myself...) "On the one hand, the parents see their child suffering and want to make it better; on the other hand, talking about what is bothering their child feels like a process that could spiral into a complaining fest on a good day or, worse, a bottomless pit in which the child - holding onto his negativity like a heavy anchor- is not only not ready to let go but is going to take his parents down with him."
Yeah. Well.


I certainly don't think my child is depressed, nor do I worry that he is heading that way.

But I am so happy to have found this book, and look forward to being able to face the unhappy and powerless moments with tools and a different mindset!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

taking care

Mindfulness has often been... well, on my mind, lately.

Watering the seeds of Happiness.

Smiling "with the peace of stringbean."

Aiding my children in being the active Creators of their lives in stead of falling into the role of Observer.

Taking care of This Moment.

Contemplating if it is possible to be at peace in This Moment when my child comes calling - when three seconds ago I was contemplating and trying to gain insight from that This Moment.

More thoughts to come on this, surely....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

re, re, re

So many things in my head, right now.

and rethink.

Usually when I'm in this space it's out of a sort of desperation and a need for drastic personal evolution, but that isn't the case, this time.

There are really no problems, though I have been in a funk the last few days - I am finally coming to realize today the reason for that funk is not that I am unhappy or dissatisfied, but rather that I am just pre-occupied!
That I am needing space and quiet to work out my thoughts, and that just isn't happening. :) Imagine that.

I think that I need a two-day vacation - an opportunity to have the house empty of souls so that I might clear out our physical as well as my mental dirt and debris.

Things are just a little too full
a little too far gone
a little too much.

Lots of things are "somewhat" done,
but nothing is "done" done.

I'm also suspicious that it has something to do with this "in between" of living so much with flashes of sunshine and then clouds and cold and rain and snow for several days.

I'm ready for a clean sweep.

Mayhaps I should be meditating upon Mountain - Solid and Space - Free, hmmm?

And now I leave this totally non-sensical and erratic post to get up and try to do something about it....