Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Greatest Secrets

Thank you all you readers that have stuck with me as I griped, expounded, pontificated, experimented, made a fool of myself, and wandered off course over the past few years.

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never know dear how much I love you.
do not take my sunshine away.

I saw this on a pillow this morning in a shop downtown and thought of you. 

The shop's window pulled me in, loaded with brilliant crystal as it was. I'm a sucker for crystal. Well, I picked up a champagne flute, turned it over, and the price jumped out at me, $110.00 per glass.

Lordy, I'd be afraid to wash that glass, and what price must the champagne be to pay homage to such a glass?

I carefully placed the crystal back on its shelf, and beat-feet over to the sandwich shop where I was headed.
I've been off bread for a couple of weeks, (trying to lose weight), but I'm splurging today, and having a sandwich, even bought a loaf of sour dough for dinner. My foodie daughter told me that fermenting the dough makes it healthier.

She also gave me the best explanation I've heard of why it's better to sprout or ferment wheat. I have rebelled against the current trend that the "#Staff of Life," aka wheat, is not healthy. Well, spraying it with Roundup would certainly do the trick. and apparently some companies do that. Maligning the plant. They ought to be ashamed. 

No, they ought to stop.

This is the explanation my daughter gave me: Some grains, aka, the seed of the plant, have enzymes that when the seed sprouts it releases the enzyme keeping other plants a distance away. 

I've seen this around some trees, nothing will grow right next to their roots. This is for self-preservation and for natural spacing that makes for a healthier crop or forest. 

The trouble is the plants protective enzymes can interfere with our enzymes. But help is on the way. If grains are either soaked or fermented it makes them easier to digest. Maybe then we're not seen as an intruder.

The process of sprouting uses part of the germ, the layer of carbohydrates under the seed coat that is fuel for the baby plant. As the germ is used up by the growing plant, it has fewer carbs for us, but more vitamins.

Sprouting  breaks down phytate, a form of phytic acid that normally decreases absorption of vitamins and minerals within the human body.

Ancient peoples sprouted and fermented grains. I don't know how they knew to do this. I don't know how a lot of food preparation got to be, but somehow the idea of sprouting or fermenting got into their cultures. 

Well, that's the health lesson for the day. 

As I was driving home, my sandwich tucked away so my dog wouldn't get it,  I mulled over a conversation my husband and I had last night. At home, before biting into that sandwich I opened the computer and ordered the book my husband had told me about. It was PTSD, Time to Heal by Kathy O'Brian.

It wasn't available on Kindle so I must wait for delivery, so I can't tell you much about it, except this: One is we know a person with Post Traumatic Syndrome which makes me interested, and two O'Brian tells people as they are going through her book to write down their thoughts. I believe in writing as a therapeutic technique especially for folks who tend to repeat themselves or recycle stories. This is true of many PTSD people. 

I have long thought how terrible is is for folks who must replay horrific events in their mind over and over. You have probably been plagued at one time or other with something you saw of experienced that traumatized you. I saw a movie once that I should never have seen, but it caught me unawares, and I replayed that scene for months. It finally wore out, and no longer bothers me. But with PTSD people the event doesn't wear out, it goes on and on.

That brings me back to writing out thoughts. Who would write a sentence over and over, the way it cycles through their brain? That would get old in a hurry, not to mention writer's cramps. Put a period at the end of a line and be done with it.

Sounds like a good idea.

I'm not saying writing will cure a person of PTSD, I haven't read the book yet, and I don't know much about the condition. I do know they say there is no cure, no blood test for it, and conventional therapy is mostly ineffectual. 

Okay, this brings me back to the eyes. 

Remember a couple of months ago I wrote about the #Bates Method of Vision training, and was surprised that so many people wanted to know about it.

They say that the eyes are the windows of the soul. We know there is a direct pipeline from the eyeball right into the brain. In fact, it is as though a part of the brain has been pulled into a long strand and attached to two stimuli seeking balls.

We know from unconventional therapy that tapping around the eyes while thinking of a particularly painful event can lessen the painful memories. If a person is kept from rem sleep, their natural rhythms get messed up. That tells us that eye health is important to our overall health. There is a therapy regarding tracking of the eye that I've heard is beneficial.

Don't hold me to this, it is an hypothesis worth looking into. I'm just wondering if the eyes have the answer.

Conventional medicine does not have a cure for PTSD. There is no chemical test for it. It is diagnosed by symptoms, and those symptoms are then compared to a chart of drugs. when the symptoms and the possible help of the drug line up, that drug is prescribed.  It's all subjective.

What if there really was a cure? 

I'm going to read the book.

Well, that was my morning, except for that input from my publisher.

Well rats. 

Who wants to buy a book that isn't touted by Oprah?

I have some work to do. 

So, how was your morning?

Thursday, August 22, 2019

I'm Working on It

After I mentioned Howard Beale"s speech from the movie Network last week, I got this from a reader:  

‘Speaking of leaning out the window....I'm reminded of Jason Robards in 1000 Clowns...  
Murray: [Leans out his apartment window] This is your neighbor speaking. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that something must be done about your garbage cans in the alley here.  
[raises voice]
Murray: It is definitely second-rate garbage. Now, by next week I want to see a better class of garbage, more empty champagne bottles and caviar cans! I'm sure you're all behind me on this. So let's snap it up and get on the ball!  

Last Saturday I should have asked for two brochures from the Tesla Dealership so I could throw one in the garbage. That would be classy garbage. Now I'm working on emptying a champagne bottle.  

On Saturday my youngest daughter and I traveled to Portland. We stopped along the way to take in a Tiny House show, and then on up to our newly discovered favorite lunch, the Thai Lettuce Wraps at the Cheesecake Factory. All the vegetables are so fresh, the chicken is seared just right, and the three sauces make it perfect. I suppose it’s meant to be an appetizer, but we each order one. It’s our main meal.  

El Yumo 

After lunch, we wandered into the Mall and I was attracted to a fiery red Tesla car sitting in an open showroom. A red car with seats the color of new-driven snow. Jazzy. As I was snapping a picture of the dash--that had no dials, no speedometer, no clock, no anything except a slit that was the air vent, a salesman slipped into the passenger seat beside me, and asked if I wanted an explanation of the car.  

Well okay. I was sitting in his car after all. 

 A display screen sat directly in the middle of the dash--ha ha, dashboard, an old term for horse and buggy days, a protective device to keep the mud from splashing on the wagon's inhabitants. That car probably had a device that would spit on mud splatters, and then a little rag would come out and dry it off.

All of the car controls, except for steering and gas are done on that screen--Oh, it will do that too, drive that is. That car will drive itself and skitter into a parking place without any help from you. (You do need to take hold of the steering once in a while so they know you’re still alive.)  

The salesman  proceeded to explain the bells and whistles that came standard on that car. It never needs maintenance he said, it never needs the brakes replaced, and it will travel 350 miles on an electric charge. If you are sitting in a restaurant and it gets to be 110 degrees outside, and who knows how hot inside your car, simply remotely set the car's temperature at say 72, and a cool car will be waiting for you.   

“What about a dog in the car?" I asked. Well, that’s taken care of too, set the temperature, the battery will run the air conditioner, and a notice will pop up on that mammoth display screen, “Dog in car. The temperature inside is 68 degree.” Anyone snooping through the window, or a policeman checking, will see that you have taken care of everything.   

“How much does the car cost,” I asked.  

“Forty thousand,” he said.  

“What?” I exclaimed,” that’s less expensive than the Chevy Silverado I looked at last week.”  

Well, the price went up to $50,000 or $55,000 in the course of our conversation, still, I thought Teslas were in the $100,000 range.  

This isn’t a Tesla commercial; I became interested in electric cars when my eldest daughter bought one—not a Tesla, and I found that you can travel across the country easily from charging station to charging station. It’s all mapped out for you. 

I commented that I never see a Tesla on the road, or else I don’t recognize them. They rather fit in with other sedans. My thought is they ought to stand out as a Ferrari did in the seventies. (That red one stood out. When I asked how they kept those white seats so clean he answered, “You know how many people sit in this car each week? The seat upholstery is made of recycled pop bottles and mushrooms." (Mushrooms? I still don’t have the answer to that one.)  

And then coming home I came up behind a car in the I-5's center lane going exactly 65 miles per hour. “It’s a Tesla,” my daughter exclaimed. I followed it for a while as it stayed steady in the center lane at 65 mph.” I bet they have the speed control set,” I said, “This Prius is going to pass that Tesla, Check when we go by to see if an old person is driving it.”  

Nope. It was a couple of young people dancing. A pillow covered the steering wheel and arms were waving all over that car. They were partying hardy. 

Take a lesson from the kids. Party hardy. 

Come on, I expect to see some classy garbage in your bins this coming week.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Boy, I Have to Hand It To You guys

For sticking with me, for sometimes I post, and then suddenly find that, like a souffle, it has deflated. That happened last week. so let’s begin again…

On July 1, 2019, I published a blog post titled “#Check Your Eyeballs,” and somehow people found it and liked it.   

Maybe it was the same way Martha Beck’s book Steering by Starlight jumped into my hands at a used book store.  

We were meant for each other.   

I knew Beck to be a clever, astute and witty psychologist from her column in Oprah Magazine. So, without hesitation, I bought the book.  

One of the BEST PURCHASES of my life.  

I wanted to throw everything from her book in here, but that wouldn’t be right, for those are her words and her ideas. But when I found her comment that rubbing your hands together and putting them over your eyes benefited the brain. I had to slap myself on the forehead and laugh.  

That’s what I had said regarding #The Bates Method of Vision Training mentioned in Check Your Eyeballs.  

Don’t you love it when evidence stacks up?   

 Covering one’s eyes, or “Palming” to use Bates’ term, is a simple meditation, relaxing, comforting ever. Simply lean over, rest your elbows on the table, rub your hands together, and place them over your eyes. Imagine energy penetrating from the palms of your hands, through your face, all the way to the back of your head.  
Brain research indicates that Picturing changes your brain state in a beneficial way.  
Lovely to hear.  
Les Fehmi, Ph.D., a Princeton psychologist who studies brain patterns developed techniques that have had huge mood and physical improvement.   

To do it, you begin by focusing your eyes on some object in your immediate vicinity. Then while focusing on that object, begin to notice the things around it. Without moving your eyes, slowly broaden the focus of your visual field to include the grass, the trees, the sky. Then broaden your attention to sense everything in your environment with all five of your senses.  
Next notice what’s going on inside your head, your eyes, your nose, your breath. If you notice fear, grasping, anxiety, or pain, pay attention to where it is coming from. Focus your attention on that area, and once again broaden your perception as you did with the blade of grass.   
Continue this until you feel a strong relaxation of your muscles.   
These exercises have been found to change your brain state from beta waves (anxiety) to alpha waves (calm), and get as much of your brain working in synchronous alpha.   
A fascinating aside regarding vision is that Pirates often wore eye-patches. That was not because so many of them had lost an eye, but because they often fought with swords. A rapid sword fight often leads from light (on deck) to darkness (below deck). And since the eyes take a moment to accommodate a change in light level, the patch kept one eye ready for the immediate change. Switch the patch to the other eye, and you see perfectly while your opponent is blinded by darkness.   
Remember that chemical “visual purple?” And how walking from sunlight into a darkened movie theater leaves you virtually blind?    
Give yourself a few moments in that dark theater, and soon you can see dandruff on the shoulders of the person in front of you.   
The pirates prepared one eye for light, and one for dark and they could quickly switch their patch. (I don’t know what the pirates did about the loss of stereoscopic vision when one eye is occluded. Compensated somehow, I guess.)   
Perhaps that’s a message on being prepared for light and dark—you know, as in world conditions, or one’s own psychological makeup.  
Recently I’ve been promoting self-help, and going for your dream and taming the lizard brain, but I don’t want us to contemplate our own navels so much that we forget that the world needs our attention once in a while.   
When I caught Marianne Williamson’s interview on U-tube (Another stumble) where she said that as a woman she ought not to be afraid to speak out, for she belongs to an exclusive 20% of the women of the world that have that freedom, I went, “You go, girl!”    
(‘Under the Skin,” )   
A great many women can’t go out of the house without a male escort, or walk into the street without being covered head to foot—what? Why? Lest they tempt the heart of an “honest” man?    
Bull Hockey.   
By self-help I don’t mean that we are broken, I mean that we want to understand the human condition more, to learn that biases built into us that need to be tamed. We are fear-based, (primitive survival instincts) and therefore need some understanding to give us peace with that. All this requires some inward thinking and work.    
If you think it’s too late for you to address the question posed by Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Remember this: The world is re-created every moment. 

“No matter how many years have been stolen from you by your own ignorance, by cruel fate, or by the acts of others, you have a clean, broad slate before you.”--Marthe Beck   
“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. I’ll be the one lying flat on my back with my earphones on, fast asleep. Jostle me gently to wake me up, because I don’t want to miss the next stage of our adventure.” --Rumi