Song Lyric Sunday: Blues

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The direction for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is to share lyrics from a Blue’s song. Sreejit from The Seeker’s Dungeon, and who also happens to be my son🙂, has composed and sung numerous Blue’s songs over the years. The one I have chosen to share here is called Feel My Blues.

Lyrics

Hear my words and be confused
as you look into my eyes and feel my blues
happiness is hiding from
the darkness to which my heart has clung.

Oooh wooh oh oh
Lost control

I hold the answers but my heart wants more
don’t even care what I’ve been fighting for –
dreams are there to hold me down
forsaking the peace that I have found.

But so long as I hold on to sleep
– it keeps me in darkness
– I’ll go on pretending.

Hear my words and be confused
as you look into my eyes and feel my blues
happiness is hiding from
the darkness to which my heart has clung.

To contentment I’ve said goodbye
there will never be any compromise
as I fight for what could never be
and stir the fire that burns within me.

It doesn’t take but a moment
to destroy a life’s work beyond all atonement.

Hear my words and be confused
as you look into my eyes and feel my blues
happiness is hiding from
the darkness to which my heart has clung.

Tearing down old walls
to make space for new ones –
enjoying the comfort of being
wrapped in illusion.

Hear my words and be confused
as you look into my eyes and feel my blues
happiness is hiding from
the darkness to which my heart has clung.

Oooh wooh oh oh
Lost control

Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up

I have been sorry that I didn’t create a collage for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Look Up ever since that July 2016 week came and went. I’ve decided that it’s never too late so am going to do it now!

(You can hover the cursor over the photos to see where they were taken. Click anywhere on the gallery to enlarge them.)

Am I Contributing to My Living or My Dying?

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In 1996, I was on an airplane that “fell” 25,000 feet in about a minute’s time. For the next two hours we did not know if we were going to live or die. Since then I have had a sense that I am living on borrowed time. I think I was supposed to die that day, but Grace prevailed. Now, I see every moment I live as a gift and remember that tomorrow is not promised. I have a strong desire to live in a way that allows me to die without regrets.

When I was a new psychotherapist, I assisted in a therapy group led by Delphine Bowers.  She used to ask clients if the actions they were thinking about doing would “contribute to their living or their dying.”  That question has stuck with me for almost 30 years.

***

I believe I am contributing to my dying, instead of my living, when I am:

Overdoing

I am great at getting things done. There was a time in my life when I was working three jobs, going to school, and raising two children. Throughout my adult life, I have generally been unwilling to stop “doing” unless I get so sick that I can’t do otherwise.

In the last few years, I have made great strides in stopping that behavior. Still, it is not lost on me that I have back problems which have impacted my level of activity since mid-February. While 97% of the time I am resting and doing what I know I should do,  I still find myself saying, “Oh it’s okay if I plant a few seedlings.” Or I do other minor garden work when I know I should be avoiding all leaning over and bending down. What will it take for me to learn this lesson?  I shudder to think of the answer.

Overthinking

I used to obsess about anything I wanted to say for so long that I often lost the opportunity to say it. I also obsessed about things I did say, analyzing my words looking for errors or wondering if I had said something that made me look stupid. While I stopped those behaviors decades ago, I believe that overthinking is still the most common way I make myself miserable. And it is certainly the source of most of my stress. If I am offended by something, I may fixate on it. Worrying about the future also leads me to overthinking. The fact that I avoid mind-slowing spiritual practices, such as meditation, perpetuates the problem.

***

I have long been aware of my tendency to overdo and overthink. In fact I have written about those behaviors before. (Recovering from Overdoing, Stay in the Present and Stop Thinking!) In the last month, awareness of another way I contribute to my dying has resurfaced.

Emotions such as anger, sadness and fear are meant to show us that there are problems we need to deal with. If we feel the feelings and address the issues, the emotions are likely to flow through us. If we repress them, we probably won’t solve the problems and we may become depressed, anxious or sick.

I have been conscious of the fear in my body for a long time, but I used to bury my anger so deep that I didn’t even realize it was there. Now I feel the anger at the time it is triggered. My new awareness is that I am repressing my grief.

***

Stuffing Grief

When I was growing up, a frequent message from my father was, “If you are going to cry, I will give you something to cry about.”  If I didn’t stop crying, I was usually spanked or sent to my bedroom.  I learned it was not okay for me to express my sadness.

When I met Amma in 1989, grief began to erupt from inside of me. Generally that grief was not associated with any conscious memory. Even though I didn’t know what it was related to, I often had a sense that I was releasing the energy from traumas that had occurred earlier in my life. Sometimes I wondered if some of it was coming from other lifetimes, or if it was some form of “universal grief.” That spontaneous release of tears, which usually occurred during Amma’s programs, went on for several years.  Letting them pour out felt very healing.

Then one day someone teased me about my tears. My childhood programming took over and I shut them down so fast it was mind-boggling. From time to time, something will still bring up that deep well of grief inside of me, but for the most part it is nowhere to be found.

A week or so ago, there was a moment when I felt sadness about my back pain and the resulting physical limitations. I shed a tear, or maybe two, before a firm inner voice said, “It’s good that you felt your sadness, but that is ENOUGH.” I saw that my father’s message was still operating within me. Certainly no healing can come from releasing one or two tears.

When I heard the news that Prince had died, I started crying, and I cried on and off throughout the week.  The grief I felt was so deep, very similar to the level of emotion I experienced during my early years with Amma. While Prince’s “Purple Rain” album and movie, and especially the song “When Doves Cry,” was important to me in the 80’s, I hadn’t followed his career after that, other than taking my children to his 1988 Seattle concert.  Even though I didn’t understand my level of emotion, I was aware that the tears I shed felt cleansing and therapeutic.

***

I believe that overdoing, overthinking and stuffing my grief are the three biggest ways that I am currently contributing to my dying.  I know it is important for me to continue working on these issues and to keep the “Will this action contribute to your living or your dying?” question in mind as I make day-to-day decisions as well as when I consider long term decisions, such as when to retire.

I have no way of knowing whether I will live one more day or one year, five years, ten years or more.  I am committed to making the most of every moment I have left in this lifetime.

 

Originally Published on May 6, 2016 as part of  The Seeker’s Dungeon’s On Living and Dying event.

If you’d like to be one of the guest authors, you can learn more about the event here: 365 Days On Living and Dying.

 

Flowering Potato Plant

Tonight, I was looking through the many photographs I took this summer. When I came upon these two pictures I remembered how surprised I was to see these flowers as I walked through my garden. I don’t  remember the potato plants flowering in the past, although they must have. Perhaps I planted a different variety of potato this year, or maybe I was just more aware of my environment.

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The Sound of Silence

This morning, my friend Kathie from ChosenPerspectives, posted a video of David Draiman, a songwriter and vocalist for the music group Disturbed, singing the 1964 song The Sound of Silence. In her post, she called it a generation bridging song. It indeed is that. I still have goosebumps from listening to Draiman’s version. In fact, for me, it is the most powerful rendition I have ever heard of this much beloved song.

Stylish- That’s Not Me!

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I couldn’t resist answering the WordPress Daily Prompt that just showed up in my email inbox. The directions were to write a post on the one-word prompt: Stylish.

Stylish I am not. At least 90% percent of the time, you will find me wearing jeans. I don’t even own a dress any more and I only have two or three skirts. I don’t know the exact number because I rarely wear them. And I almost never buy new clothes. My big purchase this year was two pairs of new jeans!

I don’t believe in saying never, but I’d say the chances of me ever becoming stylish is pretty close to never. And I’m okay with that.🙂

Song Lyric Sunday: The Thrill is Gone

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It no longer is Sunday, but I want to participate in this week’s Song Lyric Sunday so I’m going to! This week we were asked to write about a band we heard at a recent concert. The last concert I attended was on March 3, 2014. At that time I went to hear BB King at the Moore Theater in Seattle. He was 88 years-old at the time.

The opening band was Ayron Jones and the Way. The young people in the crowd went wild with joy as he played. Al and the friends that we went with loved his music too, but it just wasn’t for me. A few minutes ago, I listened to one of his songs on YouTube: Baptized in Muddy Waters. I know the music is good, and I love his voice; it just isn’t a style of music I enjoy listening to.

After Ayron Jones finished, BB King’s band played numerous songs. At one point, BB King walked on stage and sat down. He seemed very old and weak. He played his guitar a little and sang a couple of lines of The Thrill is Gone, but for the most part, he just talked to us. I sensed that I was sitting at the feet of a great Master and felt extremely honored to have that privilege. He died on May 14, 2015.

I could say much more about BB King but I’ve decided to let his music speak for him. I chose a video  from a concert that he did along with Eric Clapton. I don’t know what year that concert occurred, but BB King’s hair was gray and how he looks on the video reminds me of the man that I experienced that night in 2014.

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong
And you’ll be sorry someday

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away from me
The thrill is gone
TheIt’s gone away from me
Though I’ll still live on
But so lonely I’ll be

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away for good
The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away for good
Someday I’ll be over it all
Like I know a good man should

I’m free baby
Free from your spell
I’m free, free baby
Free from your spell
Now that it’s all over
All I can do is wish you well

Now it’s all over
All I can do is wish you well

Written by Lew Brown, Ray Henderson • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

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Faith Eirans posted this profound and intimate look into her life and into her being on The Seeker’s Dungeon this morning. I thought it was an important post for me to share so am sending it your way.

The Seeker's Dungeon

By Faith Eirans

Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large…I contain multitudes.

I am large. I have expanded past the bone structure nature intended. Endomorphic and engorged I have taken up more space than I am deemed worthy of…than I have deemed myself worthy of.

While my self-control is judged lacking by those outside of me, in reality I restrain more of my own being than those that don’t overflow their foundations.

Conscious of the fact that I require more space, I try to reduce my footprint; reduce my emotional weight on those I rely upon. If I am self-sufficient in all ways then perhaps they won’t hate me. Perhaps they’ll love me.

God only knows that I don’t love myself.

And if I can keep them from understanding that these layers I carry are simply a barrier between my sensitivity and their insensitive natures…

View original post 248 more words

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge 2

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When I saw Kathie’s WPC Edge photo on ChosenPerspectives this morning, it reminded me of an experience of my own.

One day, when my son was a young driver, he came home and parked the car in the driveway. Even though that was a frequent occurence, this time he forgot to pull up the parking break before he got out of the car. Our driveway is on a hill so the car rolled down the driveway and over the four-foot retaining wall at the end. It stopped at a two-foot statue of Buddha.

What I remember most about this incident is that I didn’t “lose it.” It has been a parenting moment that I have felt proud of ever since. At least in  my memory, I stayed very calm. I felt relieved that my son wasn’t hurt and knew he would learn from the experience. I promptly called a tow truck and had the car pulled up. I don’t believe there was even any damage to the car. I remember thanking the Buddha statue for stopping the rolling car.

I took this photo with a Polaroid camera. As I look at it now, it occurs to me that this incident may be why the trees in that area bend to the left. I’ve always thought it was because they were stretching towards a sunnier part of the yard!

 
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