Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Back to Hippie-Chick

When my husband met me, he called me a Hippie-Chick.

Yes. I wore stringed, woven, macramé jewelry. I wore my hair in long style, even in ponytails. I wore long skirts and boots. I had a passion for my freedom and trying anything and everything at least once. If I fell flat on my butt doing it, I just thanked God I had a generous, uh, cushion to land on and got back up to try something else. I gave my, much more mature, daughter freedoms and choices as she grew. That's come back to bite me in my cushion, of course, as she has her many experiences abroad.

What happened?

I got married and grew up. Or grew old. Or got comfortable.

However I choose to look at it, I became a different person. I own a home. There's a male living in it! I am a homemaker, a wife, a mother of a grown woman! I slowly and without noticing, lost that urge to reach out too far from home. OK...too far from this chair I landed in this morning to type this.

Is this what's called a mid-life crisis? Do I now settle for what's left of my life without the thrills I used to intentionally provoke in my life previously? Or, do I go out and have some fun?

Football season has started and one of the Loves of my life is consumed by that so I have plenty of time to prepare and to start my journey backwards. By the time the Super Bowl airs, Hubby may find himself with a new wife. It will still be me but it'll be the original me and more. Call it Me 2.0 if you want.

I grew up in a world of diversity, with music, people, places, and activities. It's time for a few steps back. We were listening to Time Has Come Today by Chamber Brothers and it jarred that sleeping giant within me. Uh-oh.

That is the 14-minute version if you feel like rockin' out while you finish reading.

Mom and Dad had us watching Midnight Special, going to plays, listening to Classics, Hard Rock, Jazz, R&B and Blues (Dad DJ'ed on the side), catching foreign films or domestic ones. like Tommy and Hair and we LOVED it (speaking of myself and my older brother)! I was fated to become how I am as an adult. I don't like the word "free-spirit" too much because we all have that. Not all of us utilize it, though, and live lives in wanting, in fear, and in misery.

Along with fun and exploration of every culture and every people and every experience, we became survivors of the World, as well. Watching my parents who were never without a job, a home for us, especially Mom, who as my uncle used to say, "could fall into a pile of poop and come up smelling like a rose", we learned how to survive. I learned that sometimes a step backwards will lead to two steps forward. I thank her with all my heart for that or I couldn't have made it raising my child on my own without what I learned, inadvertently, in watching her live. Yes, People, even as a Hippie-Chick, there was a time I held FOUR jobs at once!

Meanwhile, my inner Hippie and my inner Child (who likes to play with matches these days) are battling it out within me. Who will win? My money's on the Hippie. She has more fun.

Reboot Challenge? This isn't a dress rehearsal, it's Life! Decide what you want to do with it and what it takes to get there, then, GO THERE! Time has come today! Tick-Tock, Man! Peace!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Don't Forget to Breathe

I used to get annoyed if someone, like a trainer, told me that, or in any situation until I understood the reason for it. I would think, it takes a special kind of stupid to forget to breathe. Sheesh.

When learning Kung-Fu and Tai Chi I learned it. Singers know it. Yogis know it. Runners know it. Weight-lifters know it. And, anyone who is now hunched over, sitting with pinched nerves in their back and shoulders and neck or a sick feeling in your stomach or tears forming or headache starting, should know it.

Nothing can be accomplished without breathing. Simple statement? Of course it is! But I found myself telling my former patients, "Don't forget to breathe!" and wanting to slap myself. It was for their own good. When in pain or doing a difficult or precise task, subconsciously, people hold their breath. Instead, I decided to tell them to count out loud during repetitions and that would force them to breathe. Clever, right?

Then I would to teach them HOW to breathe and at their age they'd gruffly tell me, "I'm still here at this age, right? Obviously I know how to breathe!" Breath isn't from the lungs pushing out, it's the diaphragm being pushed downward and filling the lungs from the bottom, up. It's what a baby does if you watch their little bellies going up and down during sleep.

You tell a grownup to take a deep breath and watch them imitate Superman!

Breathing is gentle and easy. Taking full breaths is energizing and cleansing. Being aware of your breath is calming and can keep you from strangling your coworkers. Who can feel bad knowing you are alive and able to breathe and live because you can breathe? It can change your outlook by learning and paying attention to your own breaths.

Studies have shown that proper breathing with good posture can lower blood pressure, calm anxiety and works on every body system by providing that dear Oxygen to cells. Even brain activity and eyes can improve! You see better if you breathe better. You understand better if you breathe better. You behave better because you breathe better. YAY for Oxygen! It can heal the World's ailments! OK, maybe not all of them.

So when you have that awful feeling where you are taking little 'wasps breaths' as Patsy Stone would say on Absolutely Fabulous and your shoulders are up around your ears, sit up and take a good cleansing, healing, calming breath. In and out. It's not that hard but beneficial in many ways. I hope you were breathing well while reading this.

Reboot Challenge? Sit up straight and smell the roses and blow out the candle.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

High Anxiety

That's a good Mel Brooks movie. Almost all of his films are good, though.


Since I've been on some uncomfortable topics, lately, I decided to include this one. It's not seen a lot only because people go through great pains to conceal it. That leads to more anxiety, of course, so they just can't win.

I'm not a physician or therapist of any kind, so what I post here are merely observances and research and great empathy for those who suffer in any way. I feel not only pity but a need to help when I see anyone in discomfort or pain.

Therefore, I chose anxiety as a topic today.

Our always useful WebMD has a brief note about anxiety and I chose the most general of the information at hand:

"Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what's called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things. Some people also may have panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety.

People who have social anxiety disorder worry that they will do or say the wrong thing and embarrass themselves around others.
Anxiety can cause physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat and sweaty hands. It can make you limit your activities and can make it hard to enjoy your life.
Healthy thinking can help you prevent or control anxiety.
  • Negative thoughts can increase your worry or fear.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that can help you replace negative thoughts with accurate, encouraging ones.
  • Changing your thinking will take some time. You need to practice healthy thinking every day. After a while, healthy thinking will come naturally to you.
  • Healthy thinking may not be enough to help some people who have worry and anxiety. Call your doctor or therapist if you think you need more help. "
Whenever I think of a fellow human being living like this, it brings a sadness to me, especially considering that many think they can handle it themselves without help, that it may increase in seriousness and prevent them from living happy healthy lives.

The first sentence describing anxiety as having too much fear and worry is what I feel I can actually address. Fear is of the unknown. Worry is of the future. We may feel we have no control over the latter but fear, we can attack head-on. Determining what is causing the fear is first. Is it embarrassment? I already covered that one. Is it a real fear or an imagined one? If someone is threatened, that's a real fear. If you think you will fail, that's an imagined one. Action is required for both.

If it's a real fear, obviously you must fix it, avoid it, have it arrested, leave it, and whatever you need to rid your life of it.

If it's an imagined fear, my opinion is that you must face it directly. Once you know what it is, there is support for it everywhere. People have anxiety about speaking in public. Find a speech class, practice with family or friends. Practice where you feel safe. Picturing everyone in their underwear is a trick I've heard. Mostly, it's realizing that whatever happens, it will never ruin your life. It's what we all feel at times. It's part of living together and growing together. I conquered a fear of singing in public with karaoke. Those are some of the most understanding crowds! Everyone will applaud no matter how bad you may sound. It's great but of course, almost everyone is drinking, too.

Many students face anxieties when testing or if a test is coming up. There are methods taught to manage that and are available online or directly with counselors. Fear of one test ruining your life is unreasonable. Once that is realized, fear lessens. As many types of anxieties that exist, there are that many and more ways to conquer them.

Anxiety about driving, take lessons. Anxiety about a relationship, talk. Anxiety is about being alone, gather more people that care into your life.

It sounds as if I'm oversimplifying this topic. I hope no one thinks I consider these things in a flippant or trivial way. I don't.

Serious anxiety issues can be addressed as it shows above. But, you have to be proactive about it and not fearful of asking for help. It's what we do. We aren't here alone. We have each other.

Close your eyes and listen:  Wanting Qu-Anxiety

Reboot Challenge? Kick the monsters under the bed to the curb and reach out. Peace be with you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why Lie?

Five year olds lie.

They lie about if they ate a cookie, if they hit someone, or if they brushed their teeth or washed their hands.

Adults lie. Adults lie about the most ridiculous things.

Adults lie about how much they make, how their relationships are, where they 'are' in the World, having affairs, even about height and weight! It's a bad habit.

Like other things, I believe there is a certain age you learn that lying doesn't help. That age was mentioned before....5 years old. At 5, I told my daughter to consider the consequences of everything she said and did from that point on. And from that point on, most of the time, she did. It was a simple statement made in a way that she, at her age, could understand and relate to it.

Once she knew there was, merely, no 'reason'  to lie, ever, we were on the right track.

You see, she understood that I would not stop loving her if she made a mistake, that she wouldn't drop dead if the Truth were told, and that there were consequences to every one of her actions for which she would be responsible. But, she wouldn't be sent to the guillotine for it!

I'm still trying to figure out why adults lie to me and everyone else. There is truly no reason. Most people will accept the truth and move on. Most people will forgive mistakes. Most people just need the truth from you to determine their next step. Lying makes a faulty foundation in every way.

True Confession time!

Lying is my pet peeve. Yes, I've learned to look at someone with a smile, without comment, and listen while they tell me lie after lie and then I walk away thinking, I can never believe anything they say from now on. That's the consequence. You, as our friends in the East would say, lost face with me. You are no longer honorable or trustworthy until you've proven yourself as otherwise.

That may sound harsh to some. However, when one values the Truth and lives by it, you don't have time for lies. Lies, misconstruing, omissions, whatever you want to call it, distorts not only communication but the connection between us. If we don't see the REAL, we can't see YOU. People who consistently lie can eventually begin to believe their own lies, which can be very harmful. It becomes the Truth to them. Give them a lie detector test and they'll pass it with flying colors! That, to me, is scary. Having a flashback of  George Costanza on Seinfeld saying, "'s not a lie if you believe it."

Now, that may be your goal. You don't want to be seen for reasons known only to you. That's something personal to work on. What is the fear, the shame, the pride, the anxiety, the past, that keeps a person from showing themselves, as they are, to others?

It's time to be a true grown-up. Lies only result in more lies you have to track and remember. As someone said, you never have to struggle to remember the Truth. OK, I just said it.

The Truth will set you free.

Reboot Challenge? Catch the lie before it leaves your mouth. Be ready to face the consequences. Be a grown-up.