Archive for the ‘therapeutics’ Category

above. below. in-between.

April 26, 2017

up :: hvn

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there :: horizon-gazing :: in-the-margins/periphery

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down :: errth

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here :: on-the-nose :: center-of-mandala

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connector :: humn

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balanced :: t/here :: neither here-nor-there and both there-and-here

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meek mind

February 18, 2017

i keep running into divide-and-conquer tactics pummeling us. from there i keep painfully stepping off the ledge into all-of-us.

remembering white water hydraulic preparation: to get out of the spin-cycle, go limp. relax. stop. fighting. do less. release wild effort.

counterintuitive, mind-bending, breath and heart stopping logic.

we’re gonna have to go counterintuitive to survive this.

divide-and-conquer is in full employ from all directions. it will not suffice, depending on outcome goal(s).

what exactly are y/our goals? what does/will it mean to “win”?

how to symphony my body, parts, and systems, and breaths?

how to symphony those that see my existence and more like me as delusional mental health problems versus liberated spectrum of beautiful being wei-wu-ways?

corners of my mouth feebly upturn to greet fellow driver i pass at the intersection. center of my upper lip weighs like a bladder canteen of tears. threatening. wobbling.

a planet of injustice surrounds these permeable pores. there’s no resistance as my arm moves my hand through space, for a finger to flick off the light for the night.

Meekness is… an active and deliberate acceptance of undesirable circumstances that are wisely seen by the individual as only part of a larger picture. …The patient and hopeful endurance of undesirable circumstances identifies the person as externally vulnerable and weak but inwardly resilient and strong. Meekness does not identify the weak but more precisely the strong who have been placed in a position of weakness where they persevere without giving up.

see comment for quote source

i… i just. want…

January 23, 2017

imma be selfish for a min… for a time.

i want you to be free.

i want you to revel and reckon with these vids. they might not / might meet you where you are. may they be a balm for these times.

the longer vid speaks to me more directly than anything i’ve seen in these months – regarding maintaining my health, engaging social justice, and contemplating dharma and yoga.

long vid worth the time! this video is e.v.e.r.y.thing.

shorter vid setting up the longer one

and for good measure:

…it is selfish bias that i hope these morsels benefit you, that i shove meanings from furthest dark materials to deepest within, from my heartmindformspace to yours…

with love,

elliott

2017 how to

January 3, 2017

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how to be with the messy in-between of

frozen-with-fear and taking action

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to be with the messy in-between of

my intentions and making big mistakes

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be with the messy in-between of

making big mistakes and results of my actions

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how to be with the messy in-between of

results of my actions and my intent

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sync to sink

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or

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sink to sync

p.s.

emergence

December 14, 2016

dangerous opportunity

opportune danger

crisis

demise

emergence

emergency

crisis

emerging demise

demising mergence

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something familiar and comfortable must be cast off in order to

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act

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sage

savage

rage

ravage

cage

cabbage

cave

aged

average

beige

baggage

dazed

damage

lame

lament

maim

moment

name

save

nave

knave

lave

wave

tame

came

blame

flame

foment

comment

commend

ferment

American linguistic blunders

 

tap

October 24, 2016
a

hevin

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ac

irth

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ae

hewminn

inspired by my beloved’s tap shoes

dying to death: a living will addendum

October 12, 2016

this is about dying. not death. this is about how you like to fall asleep, how you find deep rest… how you let go and release bodied consciousness.

this post is about a rare sliver of a possibility.

this is about the slippery time after alert/awake consciousness before death – dying – with space-time for loved ones to attend to your passing …not a sudden death or a chronic illness situation, wherein you’ve been conscious enough to coherently make choices about your care closer in to the end.

death and dying are not the same thing. obvious, yet, worth stating.

i was inspired by a beloved friend’s sharing their addendum to their living will, as well as other advance directives. the extra page reveals specific precious ways any of us loved ones could offer support in their time of dying, for any of us who are still around and that time comes in such a way that we can participate.

as a death-positivity advocate, who has had explicit conversations about advance directives and living wills with yoga students for years, i found i must finally complete my own forms. gotta get beyond the DNR and organ donor heart on my driver’s license. no more excuses. but…

i’d had my state’s versions downloaded  for years. i came round to opening and reading and staring and closing them repeatedly for about 6 months. i am an extreme solo type in quite a queer identity and lifestyle. it took me a long while to realize that these factors were freezing me up in my attempts to complete the rather simple forms.

i am due some minor but unavoidable abdominal surgery. consciousness, will, control, and just being skillfully ahead of the game of any unfortunate turns were on my mind. as were anesthesia, others manipulating my body while being unconscious, pain, exhausting self-advocacy…

it wasn’t the living will directive that was stalling my process. it was the health care agent / power of attorney form. i have no primary partner or child to select as the top person to direct any medical personnel for my care. e-v-e-r-y one of my chosen family folks has either a significant other or child that i can imagine they have in this place, if they’ve filled out these forms. (which everyone should do. yesterday!) you can see my dilemma; i have been touting this advice for years and hadn’t completed my own directives.

so, then it came to a day where i was in that repeating loop, i’d opened and re-read and was staring at the forms. i didn’t close them though. i had a good cry for about 2 hours. this tension-release was about confusion that this imagined state of unconscious dying would require other humans’ involvement: perhaps first responders, doctors, family-of-origin, chosen-family, and/or friends… i am a terrible patient. i’d like to be left alone, thank you very much. i live alone, i attend theatre and dine alone. i love it that way. leave me alone and just let my die already! …ahh, fear…

so, in fact, i twist around to phone with this beloved who has so thoughtfully and compassionately completed their forms. this beloved dropped some sinking sparkling heavy plumb-lined pennies in my well (of preferred loneliness):

this is about your care while dying – not while living. not while recovering, healing, or in some terminal chronic conditions wherein you are competent or conscious enough to make decisions. this is about preparing for that rare condition of unconscious dying. meaning, you didn’t cross all the way over in a sudden trauma, or the myriad other possibilities of dying to death. it is a rare reality anyway – that one is given a chance, that one’s beloveds are then given a chance to attend to your dying. indeed, in this light, as is simply true for advance directives at all, it is supreme to consider all this in a competent conscious state… to ease any drama for your loved ones.

okay, that was a doozie. and, yet, so relieving and clear. this is about care for me in my dying. this is not about caring for me in some living way. (why is this called a living will and not dying will. why is a driveway for parking and a parkway for driving…)

i can get with the willfulness bit though. that’s the medicine in all this: using your lucid, un-triggered conscious will to think through these options and desires.

more tossed pennies:

you don’t have to pick 1 agent. the forms are designed to be as brief as possible, and yeah, most people have an easy answer for who they want in that position. not choosing has it’s legal ranks. …closest living family-of-origin relatives (this relativity-ness is defined by heternormative bloodline capitalist patriarchal society mind you. no judgement, ha! just the whirrld we swim in, where folks like me don’t quite fit the mold). then attending physicians are in line of power… if no one is found or reachable. i was feeling despondent, resigning it all to: “i don’t care. I surely won’t care in this scenario… i’ll just let the chips fall as they may.” then my friend calmly quietly pointed out 2 crucial details: i can list as many agents as i want, and she spoke of specific folks who would be in line to care for me if i didn’t select a healthcare power of attorney.

kerplunkaplunnk. pennies landing and wet with splashy consequence.

sheesh. i can list as many agents as i want. there will be only one acting agent, but i can heartlessly or heartfully communicate here in advance who i trust in this way…

i want this friend to be there. i want this beloved friend chosen-family person-of-Earth making some of these decisions – or no! not having to make any decisions, but following my advance directives, duh. …ensuring that my plans are honored. some others are loving beings i love, but they might not handle such a scene the way i ‘d prefer. i’m trying to save us all from any such angst.

this thought process is entertaining: why am i so important that it’d be so unsettling for me to be dying? who cares?! …but people have weird hang-ups about dying and death. i can make this egoistically about me, or i can recognize how real this all is. i can get out of the way and actually try to prepare all of my loved ones with ease and peace of mind, for if such a rare scenario as this attending opportunity ever comes to pass…

just because you want someone to live does not mean that is the healthiest well-iest path. it could be prolonging suffering for your loved one and you, as well, it could be plain selfish.

we’re all gonna die. so.

go watch Harold and Maude.

and remember, it’s a comedy.

some suggestions for contemplating your dying wishes:

  • you can practice dying as an active process, not an event of inaction or absence. you can uncover as well as cultivate your preferences for easing into absence and inaction.
  • you might practice dying by contemplating space or freedom between you and your name, your body, or any identity-limiting sense of self, after the overt moving bit of a yoga asana class, during corpse pose/final rest/savasana.
  • other favorite practices of mine are breath awareness as i drift to sleep, lucid dreaming, and breath awareness as i return to waking consciousness through the sleep stages.
  • contemplate/meditate on deep relaxation, emptiness, what sooths you, your identity/ies, sensory pleasures, music and/or stories that calm you (or stimulate you),
  • watch Harold & Maude

some additions to the formal/notarized Living Will:

  • one from my beloved friend’s and my documents, modified with permission:
    • I strongly prefer caregivers who are neither chatty nor cheery. (Seriously, the thought of some nurse coming into my room crooning, “Good morning, sunshine,” is like nails on a chalkboard.)
  • as my friend inspired me – i list books i would like read aloud, music i would like to listen to… and otherwise that social silence and media silence please be respected around me.
  • here’s an item from my living will:
    • Please allow as much natural light and natural moving air as you can (open windows). This would be wonderful, whenever possible – even if briefly each night, dawn, day, and dusk – even in extreme cold or hot seasons. I would like to avoid artificial lighting as much as possible. I would love to allow the natural rhythms of nightfall and sunrise to fill the space I am in.
  • there are further details of what i know soothes me, and of what i want my remains donated for… and clear thoughts about how my Health Care Agent can make decisions for ease regarding where i die, etc… how explicitly to reduce burden on my loved ones…

some suggestions for completing advance directives:

  • find your state’s Advance Directives forms, complete them, and share them with the pertinent folks (any/all listed potential health care agents, other family and/or friends you’d want to know your wishes, any health care providers you want to know of your wishes… therapist(s), nurses, doctors, etc.).
  • do not waste money filing the forms with some state registry. this is not where the info will be sourced if you are dying. if in some emergency/accident or severe illness conditions, your wallet and/or your attending medical care folk are the best source 😉
  • get copies filed in your records with any health care providers you would like to have them.
  • make a small card for your wallet with all of your potential healthcare agents’ contact info.

with love,

elliott

listen. differently.

July 18, 2016

DSCN4814listen differently. to your child,

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listen. differently. to your familiar news media, your parent, your neighbor, your lover…

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listen.

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differently.

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to your friend, spouse, frenemy at work…

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differently listen to your sibling, your best mate, your teacher…

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listen to your heart…

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your feet differently contacting the earth… listen   (   (  (  (  ( ( ( (((

DSCN4792there are familiar pathways for sound in your neurons.

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DSCN4811be changed by what you hear 12 inches below your ears…

DSCN4807be the change…

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equal night springs

March 20, 2016

 

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ground…’s day

February 2, 2016

“…I gentle you…”

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yes. that sounds workable…

i counter some of Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s wonderful words… enough to  wonder at my sharing this piece; yet, i enjoy this piece enough. it is years old and still relevant.

it’s queer. i can see the usefulness in her words. that’s why i share them here. there is a point to them. and to their opposites. and even other views…

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

losing hope is encouraged by me. acknowledge, breathe, be with what is. i encourage you to be hopeless, to not need hope. to inhale and act skillfully and fullheartedly because you don’t need the futuristic distraction of hope. see. listen. respond. now.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

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Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

yes, both/and. my timbers (cells, organs, bones, breaths) are presently shivering veneers. and yet they too are of greater forests (lineages, mentors, teachers, beloveds, gone-befores).

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

veering towards the unmended is vital. some focus is required here. mending is required. allowing sp a c e and nesting/resting for weakened states is crucial. what is other or outside my reach is critical for me to at the least see and love, if not even touch.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

i don’t think so. ehem. depends on what you mean by believer, greater, and grace. i’m of the godless, atheist, Buddhist leanings. and i still exist and have a place in this mandala.

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Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

ah, yeah, we can mend now. close in. okay.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

i will try to not give up. i try. no promises- they smell like hope an’ shit…

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

yeh, fire can be molten lava or sparkly licking flares. water can be frozen sharp piercing or flowing rolling down down down…

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

tumult. calm and balance the tumult…

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

i do invite despair, with space – breathable, healing, non-indulgent space. i understand your point, just sayin’. despair has a chair and eats from my plate daily.

 

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The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

there is plenty of despair if/when i contemplate what my being on earth might be why for… ah, it is that spirit i don’t get with. i don’t think rejecting idealist monism excludes me from exploring existence as a ship made for sailing rough seas…

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes

American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.