Our Tiny House

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Now Here’s a Santa You’re Never Seen


It takes gargantuan strength to handle eight flying reindeer.

I revved myself up during my last blog regarding Christmas, and the celebration of it, but then encountered the cold hard facts that many people would prefer to skip Christmas altogether

One person told me that she would like to go straight from Halloween to New Year’s day.

For her, it’s an endurance test.

What have we done to people?

My daughter says it’s the Norman Rockwell syndrome, of happy families, gathered in thankfulness and joy, although, think of it, if you look at Rockwell’s paintings they encumber angst as well as joy.

I’m wondering if we have forgotten that sometimes life is a roller coaster. It has ups and downs and embraces many facets, not only the pretty pictures.  

If you expect a no-stress life, you will have a poor semblance of one.

I’m not arguing for stress, mind you, I don’t want it, don’t like it, and try to avoid it. However, here, I’m looking at realities. Is stress, as one person put it, another word for fear?

People fear what’s coming up for the holidays. They have had bad experiences in the past and fear having them again. Some have lost loved ones over the holiday season. They feel pressure to perform, to give, or perhaps they have no family. Maybe the family doesn’t care. 

Chaos creates a fight between the two sides of the nervous system. It’s like driving a car with one foot on the accelerator, and the other on the brake.

We have come to expect Christmas to be magical, and when it isn’t, we are disappointed. 

Just think, our grandparents lived through the great depression and a World War, and we stress out over not having enough followers, or thinking we ought to celebrate because the rest of the world is.

We need to rethink our priorities.

Right now, I’m thinking of all the meds I know some people are taking, and still, they have panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, and manic days.

 “If we have poor coping skills,” says Dr. Andrew Weil, “deficient social support, and high stress, then the internal balance of our bodies may be easily upset, and our resistance lowered. 

“Illness or disease then occurs more from our vulnerability than from external agents.

“The factors that place us at risk range from our attitudes and appraisal in coping with stress to the kind of food we eat and the genes we inherit. Our mind and behavior, our environment, and our genetic predispositions are the common contributors to disease.”

Have you heard the breakdown of the word disease into Dis-Ease? I guess for some Christmas is a dis-ease. 

 “We know that smoking is a risk factor,” says Dr. Weil,” so is a persistent perception of life as hopeless or uncontrollable.”

One way to balance your nervous system is by breathing through your heart.
Research has shown that the heart is composed of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells. It has its own nervous system. And we thought it was the brain that controlled our lives. Nope, it has a helper. (Source of information here is Doc Childre & Howard Martin.)

Shift your focus to the area around your heart.

Feel your breath coming in through your heart and out through your solar plexus.

Activate positive feelings and emotions by embodying them while breathing through your heart.

What are some of the funny times of your life?
What are the loving times?

When have you been proud of yourself?

What do you appreciate most in your life right now?

I love Christmas. I’ve had a good many of them, and so I look for new ways to celebrate.  Like take it easy on yourself, make it your day, not what society dictates. 

Buy presents if you want, send cards if you want, cook if you want, or don’t.  And just for the fun of it, Pay it forward to some stranger.


Isn’t the idea of a baby being born on Christmas day magical? Isn’t the fantasy of Santa Claus magical? Isn’t the dream of a beautiful time worth it? If people can’t see the magic around Christmas, they aren’t looking hard enough. 


Heck, watch the movie, “It's “Wonderful Life,” again, or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”  You’re not too old. Oh oh, that might make us believe in happy endings. 

I’m preparing for a good time, I bought Champagne and macadamia nuts. (Homage to Hawaii.)

I appreciate you guys.

I appreciate that you allow me to have this expression and that you read my words.

I appreciate that I have a word processor. The old days of facing a blank page on a typewriter are gone. Who Hoo.

I appreciate that I have a warm house.

I appreciate that I have access to good food and that I am shortly going Christmas shopping. And that I have an abundant supply of goods from which to choose.

I appreciate that wars are few and far between.

I appreciate that most people have awakened to accept all sorts of people with various skin pigmentation, and beliefs.

I appreciate that I have the freedom to have all the above things I mentioned.

Aloha,
Re-Joyce

Remember that Aloha, besides meaning Hello, Goodbye and I love you, is a way of life. It is giving without expecting anything in return.



Here's what I want for Christmas, preferably
built  in my back yard, but a trip to Bali and staying in this bungalow wouldn't be too shabby.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

"Come on Baby Light my Fire"


 I'm sharing my space, I wish they would write something good.

Hey, hi, hello there, I’m feeling good from my head to my toes…life’s good, I’m alive.

Have you ever wondered if after you die you wake up and laugh and say, “What was I so worried about?”

Well, let’s face it, the unknown is most always scary.

But we’re here right now, alive and curly tailed, and the hero on our own journey.

As I travel along my own life path, I see that the number one focus, after the necessities to sustain life, and finding a mate, is that people want to understand themselves aka, Self-growth. 

Not for all mind you, some want to accumulate things or accolades, or trophies or money, but I think underneath it all is the urge to understand oneself.

I don’t want to be pie in the sky, or airy-fairy, I want to be real, whatever that is. I’ve heard criticisms of Tony Robbins for using “Adult” words. He does it for a reason. These are “taboo words,” and to use them produces a dynamic transformation in the listener. Freud was the first to discover this effect taboo words had on people, and Robbins was one of the first to use it in a therapeutic setting.

I’m saying look at the effect. 

When the Kingdom becomes stale, we need something to jolt us. Stale kingdoms are illnesses, boredom, lethargy, alienation, loss, addiction, anger, rage—it’s time to take a journey.

Our journey is to undercover our true self, and to find answers as to why we are here.

This journey isn’t an easy one. Issues come up; past hurts raise their ugly heads, resentments flail to be recognized. Most people change only when they have to, when their backs are to the wall, or when they are really, really really determined to do it.
But, what if I told you that you are a carrier of light? What if I said we are here to uphold the consciousness of the planet? Would you believe me?

If you thought that you had a purpose for being here and that it was to contribute to the whole, would that make your journey easier?

This is the third time I have written this blog, and you know a danger here, I might change my mind again, but isn’t that also how life is? If someone holds our nose to what we said 20 years ago, we might answer, “I do believe that my thinking has evolved a bit since then.”

I come from an old evangelistic background where old men would say, “I was saved 50 years ago—that settles it.”

What if we tripped down the path full of joy? What if we noticed that life is getting better? What if we believed that the earth will survive and that we will see to it? We might be a small group who think this way, but remember what the famed Archeologist Margaret Mead said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
 
And there might be a side effect. Happiness just might lie somewhere along the trail, and it will probably be where we least expect it.

I know I spoke of archetypes long ago, but they came up for me again when I was addressing this subject of becoming more real, more aware, more in touch with our feelings, and more in tune with our environment and those around us.

I know a bipolar personality, and I wonder about that. How does a person gets stuck in pathology?

What makes a person act the way they do? What is mental illness? 

Way back in 1986 I read Carol S. Pearson’s. Book, The Hero Within, Six archetypes we live by, and thought it was one of the best psychological books I had ever read. And I remember her archetypes still. I figured it was time to revisit them.

We all contain these archetypes in varying degrees, and in times of stress one can take over. The idea is to recognize them, know their characteristics and to walk the path through them toward the magician at the end.

 “Real heroism,” wrote Pearson, “is NOT knowing you can handle anything, it is doing your part.”

I’m tired of people making excuses about their behavior saying, “It’s the way I was raised.” (While railing at their folks.) Some people list their characteristics as though they are carved in stone because their mother was frightened by an exploding light bulb.

Self-growth is looking at one’s characteristics, and determining whether they still work. Perhaps we have outgrown them, or ought to. 

I had to laugh when Joseph McClendon II, teacher, coach, psychologist, said, “If a person afraid of dogs comes into my office you can bet there will be a Rottweiler there.”

That’s one approach. Force a person to face their fears.

Or, there are other ways, such as taking the child that still lives within us by the hand, and walking that child past those scary places, not to re-traumatize ourselves, but to see that what worked as a child may not be working for us as adults.

Those are old dragons.

The monster left the premises a long time ago.


Illustration by Edward Gorey

What is left is the memory.

So here we are a hero about to set off on their own journey.

I told my daughter that I was praying for patience, and she said, “Don’t ever do that. The universe will give you more opportunities to test your patience.”

I know that habits and ways of operating don’t go away simply because we ask them to — they hold on with a death grip.

Give them something different to focus on.

And I know that often a person feels alone, that they are the only person with their particular challenge, but in conversation, we find we are not alone, others are taking that same journey right along with us.

If we expected a happy childhood and didn’t have one, we can spend the rest of our lives feeling cheated and never get on with living. 

Many people accept their social roles, wife, husband, worker, female (passive, caregiver, putting other’s needs before her own), male (dominant, entitled, strong), rather than taking their own journey. When we do that, we can feel empty inside, and instead of slaying dragons, we wage war on ourselves. That’s when the “I’m not good enough phenomenon raises its ugly head. “I’m too fat, too old, too stupid, too poor, too inexperienced. I can’t control my household, my kids, my dog, or my life.

BS.

Let’s delve into the archetypes people live by. Pearson says there are six, later she writes of 12, but I like the originals, so I am sticking with them. By my standard, there are seven archetypes, for I threw in The Innocent twice,
  1.  Innocent
  2. Orphan
  3. Wanderer
  4. Warrior
  5. Altruist (Used to be called Martyr, but that has become socially unacceptable.)
  6. Innocent
  7. Magician
Each has a positive and negative side, however, shining a light on the positive shows that they are only passages, steps that carry us along the path.

First, we are born innocent, in a paradise of being cared for, loved, aka, in the garden.
Eventuality we get kicked out of paradise. First, our mother’s oxytocin goes away, and we find we must do something besides look adorable to gain her attention. 

We enter the orphan stage.

Not literally, we still have parents—hopefully. Besides feeling lost in a big world, trying to make sense of it, the orphan can be the abused child, the traumatized person, or the spoiled brat who tries to kick and scream their way back into paradise. 

The orphan phrase can leave the person cynical, “Life’s unfair.” “Why did this happen to me?” “It’s not my fault.” “I’m entitled to blank, blank, blank.” Some stay stuck in this archetype for a lifetime.

But wait, a healthy orphan sets out searching for her place in the world, testing the avenues. She becomes the Wanderer. I see how strong my wandering spirit was on our Hawaiian stint.  First looking for my place in the sun, and then determined that that was not it, I said, “Let’s get the heck out of here.”

The Warrior, says “I will go it alone if that’s what must be,” Or they, with fists in the air, decide to do the thing they set out to do. The warrior can, in their quest for power, reach gladiator proportions.

The Altruist once labeled the Martyr by Pearson, is, in the newly revised edition, now The Altruist. The martyr notices that some sacrifice is in order if they are to relate lovingly with others. The Altruist gives freely.

The purpose of all the archetypes is to see that on our life journey we go through many steps, and the idea is to integrate all of them. Having walked the miles, the individual once again becomes the innocent. They have entered the garden and found it good. This time they live in paradise because they have earned it.

“The difference between a high-level innocent and a magician is that the magician has become the thinker, the weaver, the visionary, the creator of sacred space.
And thus a transformation occurs.

The magician has found the treasure, she has found that we do not transform the world to be happy, but become happy then change the world.

I know of such a person.

Joseph Campbell notes that the hero often comes home with a boom. That is some unexpected gift to bestow on the family or village or culture. I suppose that could be some scientist who, having labored toward their goal, faced abandonment, rejection, wandered in a wasteland, did slay the dragons of being unaccepted, finally reaches the other side and discovers a medicine or some device that changes the world. (The boom.)

I loved one comment I found while scanning the newly revised Pearson book on Amazon.  A woman noted that her life hadn’t been easy, it had many pits and trials, but she felt whole because of them. Walking the steps was her reason for being alive.
She had integrated all the archetypes.

Having walked the sacred path, the person finds that once again they are the innocent, that is they are living in paradise.
 

“I used to say to my classes that the ways to get insight are: to study infants; to study animals; to study primitive people; to be psychoanalyzed; to have a religious conversion and get over it; to have a psychotic episode and get over it, or to have a love affair with an old Russian. And I stopped saying that when a little dancer in the front row put up her hand and said, 'Does he have to be old?”

― 
Margaret Mead