Last Updated On December 3, 2016

 

Hey brother, can you Paradigm? ...and that's the shifting of the tectonic plate, that causes the earth to quake When you're standing in the epicentre Let the shaking begin/The shaking starts here -George Clinton

 

 

“Hey, I have to tell you, by the way …. your piece on your website: Thin …. knocked my socks off. I’ve lost (as of, say, today) 147 pounds… and I’ve been struggling in many ways to figure out what the hell is happening around me and to me ….Your writing was crazy powerful, and I just sat there nodding like a maniac, and saying OUT LOUD, ‘Yes, yes! yes yes yes, YES!” I was so grateful to have found it. Thank you.”

I don’t even know this person (yet) but she saved me in a million ways.

I was walking into Target with my family when I got this message. We were engaging in a black ops santa mission to decorate my husband office building for the holidays. Sometimes I feel like I’m sucking Christmas cheer through a tight straw. I want so bad to be there and yet, i find it so hard. Even with so much festivity and generosity surrounding me, I just barely skate on a thin layer of giving and tradition and sheer will. This year is really no different than any other year. I keep pointing to more stress, more uncertainty but truthfully- this is not new. And its not all that interesting.

I am not good at reading and walking. I amazed by young people who are talking and walking and their thumbs are a blur and they’re selfie-ing besides.. I mean, I can do all those things but it doesn’t have that millennial grace. But now that I think about it, I can’t use a standing desk either because I can’t stay upright and think at the same time. Oh dear. Anyway- I couldn’t really grasp what I was seeing. I asked my family to pull over and wait for me to re-read, scroll back, squeal with delight, and start mildly hyperventilating. And my angel advises, “don’t freak out in Target!” and she is right. Its not a place for all out freaking, those bullseye red shirts say STOP. But low level freaking is just fine. Perfect even. They call me a guest and ask if I found what I was looking for, “Oh YES! Thank you very much.”

My funk has opened up a line of questioning that I normally avoid. This is actually a good aspect of the funk. And when I say “funk”, I am essentially talking about depression or a depressive episode. I’m not talking about George Clinton and Parliament. Although George’s words hold a special power for me today:

“The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funkmanship.”

I’m trying, George, I really am. Unfortunately though, the funk provides a lens that gives everything a depressive, negative cast, so the answers cannot always be relied upon. And thats where the angels come in. Just this one interaction, this one piece of feedback on one particular effort allowed me a full breathe, some clear vision, and comfort? I’m not sure if this is the right word? It feels warm and soft and smooth going down. Like a sweet memory or a kiss. And THIS is what we are all capable of doing for each other. Hell, we could do it every single day! Its sometimes hard to believe that we are all this powerful, that we easily have the capacity to lift another human being.

And when I say “easy”, I mean that we are actually hardwired to access this power, we have to actively thwart its expression. There are so many stumbling blocks- anxiety, distraction, low self-esteem, ignorance…but maybe we need to remember what it feels like to be on the other end of it. When we need it the most. When we are tired or sad or in doubt. Maybe then we will all stop holding back and invest the energy into taking a next step into gratitude. If we can muster paragraphs of feedback on coffeemakers on amazon, I bet we can do it. We can express our appreciation before we are gone or even before the sun sets. We are not just consumers. Our relationships,our communities, must be sustainable. Integrated giving and receiving is more than a physical commodity, its a spiritual contract. And I wondered why I couldn’t get happy no matter how many toys I gave to tots or how many meals I offered the hungry. Its not like these aren’t worthy efforts, they just are not adequate in isolation. In isolation.

At my writing group, I was given the mightiest of compliments. I was told I was a really good appreciator. It brought up tears. It felt like a gut punch. In a good way. And yet, in total opposition to my normal, I didn’t engage in the self-deprecation and downplaying. I was too honored. I felt knighted. I couldn’t even green light my habitual bullshit. But upon reflection, I think part of the tears was the deep knowledge that my powers of appreciation are what get me through the day and keep me from slip sliding into oblivion. So not only to acknowledge that, but to have someone acknowledge that in me, well, it was a Target moment. I think sometimes we get tricked into thinking if we give too much, we won’t have anything. I think sometimes we get tricked into thinking what we do and say doesn’t matter, that we walk through life invisible and impotent and needy. Its not true and it doesn’t have to be true.

So back to the questions, or the questioning, or the doubting, or the borderline self-sabotaging…I like to start with “Why bother?” and a “What if its not interesting or original?” aperitif, followed by a “I can’t express myself the way I want.” salad, a “Will I ever get better at this?” consomme, a palate cleanser of “What is my endgame?” and then a hearty main course of “Does anyone care?” with a side of “Does it matter if anyone cares?” smothered in “What need could I possibly fill?”. And I leave room for a “What if I don’t touch truth or accuracy?” indulgence with a “What if I don’t say enough or the right things?” a la mode. I end the meal with a steaming cup of “What if its just *not that good*, and why does that feel so much worse than just flat out sucking?” with “Aren’t I supposed to make a commodity out of this?” froth topped off with a shot of “How can I be this old and not have a commodity?”.

I would love to say that I have a consistent and considered response to these not very unique questions. I would love to say that they never slow me down. What I can say is some ways of giving and receiving make it tolerable to live near these questions and still go on. What I can say is that when these questions get loud and demand attention, it feels like salvation to get even one ray of sunshine. From an unexpected source, on some non-auspicious day, when shopping in a department store. And these questions? Maybe they won’t always return to mock and haunt, maybe they will make an appearance in writing group, from someone else’s mouth, in another language, maybe I will get a chance to tango with them through appreciation of another.

 

Last Updated On December 3, 2016

 

Hey brother, can you Paradigm? ...and that's the shifting of the tectonic plate, that causes the earth to quake When you're standing in the epicentre Let the shaking begin/The shaking starts here -George Clinton

 

“Hey, I have to tell you, by the way …. your piece on your website: Thin …. knocked my socks off. I’ve lost (as of, say, today) 147 pounds… and I’ve been struggling in many ways to figure out what the hell is happening around me and to me ….Your writing was crazy powerful, and I just sat there nodding like a maniac, and saying OUT LOUD, ‘Yes, yes! yes yes yes, YES!” I was so grateful to have found it. Thank you.”

I don’t even know this person (yet) but she saved me in a million ways.

I was walking into Target with my family when I got this message. We were engaging in a black ops santa mission to decorate my husband office building for the holidays. Sometimes I feel like I’m sucking Christmas cheer through a tight straw. I want so bad to be there and yet, i find it so hard. Even with so much festivity and generosity surrounding me, I just barely skate on a thin layer of giving and tradition and sheer will. This year is really no different than any other year. I keep pointing to more stress, more uncertainty but truthfully- this is not new. And its not all that interesting.

I am not good at reading and walking. I amazed by young people who are talking and walking and their thumbs are a blur and they’re selfie-ing besides.. I mean, I can do all those things but it doesn’t have that millennial grace. But now that I think about it, I can’t use a standing desk either because I can’t stay upright and think at the same time. Oh dear. Anyway- I couldn’t really grasp what I was seeing. I asked my family to pull over and wait for me to re-read, scroll back, squeal with delight, and start mildly hyperventilating. And my angel advises, “don’t freak out in Target!” and she is right. Its not a place for all out freaking, those bullseye red shirts say STOP. But low level freaking is just fine. Perfect even. They call me a guest and ask if I found what I was looking for, “Oh YES! Thank you very much.”

My funk has opened up a line of questioning that I normally avoid. This is actually a good aspect of the funk. And when I say “funk”, I am essentially talking about depression or a depressive episode. I’m not talking about George Clinton and Parliament. Although George’s words hold a special power for me today:

“The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funkmanship.”

I’m trying, George, I really am. Unfortunately though, the funk provides a lens that gives everything a depressive, negative cast, so the answers cannot always be relied upon. And thats where the angels come in. Just this one interaction, this one piece of feedback on one particular effort allowed me a full breathe, some clear vision, and comfort? I’m not sure if this is the right word? It feels warm and soft and smooth going down. Like a sweet memory or a kiss. And THIS is what we are all capable of doing for each other. Hell, we could do it every single day! Its sometimes hard to believe that we are all this powerful, that we easily have the capacity to lift another human being.

And when I say “easy”, I mean that we are actually hardwired to access this power, we have to actively thwart its expression. There are so many stumbling blocks- anxiety, distraction, low self-esteem, ignorance…but maybe we need to remember what it feels like to be on the other end of it. When we need it the most. When we are tired or sad or in doubt. Maybe then we will all stop holding back and invest the energy into taking a next step into gratitude. If we can muster paragraphs of feedback on coffeemakers on amazon, I bet we can do it. We can express our appreciation before we are gone or even before the sun sets. We are not just consumers. Our relationships,our communities, must be sustainable. Integrated giving and receiving is more than a physical commodity, its a spiritual contract. And I wondered why I couldn’t get happy no matter how many toys I gave to tots or how many meals I offered the hungry. Its not like these aren’t worthy efforts, they just are not adequate in isolation. In isolation.

At my writing group, I was given the mightiest of compliments. I was told I was a really good appreciator. It brought up tears. It felt like a gut punch. In a good way. And yet, in total opposition to my normal, I didn’t engage in the self-deprecation and downplaying. I was too honored. I felt knighted. I couldn’t even green light my habitual bullshit. But upon reflection, I think part of the tears was the deep knowledge that my powers of appreciation are what get me through the day and keep me from slip sliding into oblivion. So not only to acknowledge that, but to have someone acknowledge that in me, well, it was a Target moment. I think sometimes we get tricked into thinking if we give too much, we won’t have anything. I think sometimes we get tricked into thinking what we do and say doesn’t matter, that we walk through life invisible and impotent and needy. Its not true and it doesn’t have to be true.

So back to the questions, or the questioning, or the doubting, or the borderline self-sabotaging…I like to start with “Why bother?” and a “What if its not interesting or original?” aperitif, followed by a “I can’t express myself the way I want.” salad, a “Will I ever get better at this?” consomme, a palate cleanser of “What is my endgame?” and then a hearty main course of “Does anyone care?” with a side of “Does it matter if anyone cares?” smothered in “What need could I possibly fill?”. And I leave room for a “What if I don’t touch truth or accuracy?” indulgence with a “What if I don’t say enough or the right things?” a la mode. I end the meal with a steaming cup of “What if its just *not that good*, and why does that feel so much worse than just flat out sucking?” with “Aren’t I supposed to make a commodity out of this?” froth topped off with a shot of “How can I be this old and not have a commodity?”.

I would love to say that I have a consistent and considered response to these not very unique questions. I would love to say that they never slow me down. What I can say is some ways of giving and receiving make it tolerable to live near these questions and still go on. What I can say is that when these questions get loud and demand attention, it feels like salvation to get even one ray of sunshine. From an unexpected source, on some non-auspicious day, when shopping in a department store. And these questions? Maybe they won’t always return to mock and haunt, maybe they will make an appearance in writing group, from someone else’s mouth, in another language, maybe I will get a chance to tango with them through appreciation of another.

Last Updated On December 3, 2016

Hey brother, can you Paradigm? ...and that's the shifting of the tectonic plate, that causes the earth to quake When you're standing in the epicentre Let the shaking begin/The shaking starts here -George Clinton

“Hey, I have to tell you, by the way …. your piece on your website: Thin …. knocked my socks off. I’ve lost (as of, say, today) 147 pounds… and I’ve been struggling in many ways to figure out what the hell is happening around me and to me ….Your writing was crazy powerful, and I just sat there nodding like a maniac, and saying OUT LOUD, ‘Yes, yes! yes yes yes, YES!” I was so grateful to have found it. Thank you.”

I don’t even know this person (yet) but she saved me in a million ways.

I was walking into Target with my family when I got this message. We were engaging in a black ops santa mission to decorate my husband office building for the holidays. Sometimes I feel like I’m sucking Christmas cheer through a tight straw. I want so bad to be there and yet, i find it so hard. Even with so much festivity and generosity surrounding me, I just barely skate on a thin layer of giving and tradition and sheer will. This year is really no different than any other year. I keep pointing to more stress, more uncertainty but truthfully- this is not new. And its not all that interesting.

I am not good at reading and walking. I amazed by young people who are talking and walking and their thumbs are a blur and they’re selfie-ing besides.. I mean, I can do all those things but it doesn’t have that millennial grace. But now that I think about it, I can’t use a standing desk either because I can’t stay upright and think at the same time. Oh dear. Anyway- I couldn’t really grasp what I was seeing. I asked my family to pull over and wait for me to re-read, scroll back, squeal with delight, and start mildly hyperventilating. And my angel advises, “don’t freak out in Target!” and she is right. Its not a place for all out freaking, those bullseye red shirts say STOP. But low level freaking is just fine. Perfect even. They call me a guest and ask if I found what I was looking for, “Oh YES! Thank you very much.”

My funk has opened up a line of questioning that I normally avoid. This is actually a good aspect of the funk. And when I say “funk”, I am essentially talking about depression or a depressive episode. I’m not talking about George Clinton and Parliament. Although George’s words hold a special power for me today:

“The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funkmanship.”

I’m trying, George, I really am. Unfortunately though, the funk provides a lens that gives everything a depressive, negative cast, so the answers cannot always be relied upon. And thats where the angels come in. Just this one interaction, this one piece of feedback on one particular effort allowed me a full breathe, some clear vision, and comfort? I’m not sure if this is the right word? It feels warm and soft and smooth going down. Like a sweet memory or a kiss. And THIS is what we are all capable of doing for each other. Hell, we could do it every single day! Its sometimes hard to believe that we are all this powerful, that we easily have the capacity to lift another human being.

And when I say “easy”, I mean that we are actually hardwired to access this power, we have to actively thwart its expression. There are so many stumbling blocks- anxiety, distraction, low self-esteem, ignorance…but maybe we need to remember what it feels like to be on the other end of it. When we need it the most. When we are tired or sad or in doubt. Maybe then we will all stop holding back and invest the energy into taking a next step into gratitude. If we can muster paragraphs of feedback on coffeemakers on amazon, I bet we can do it. We can express our appreciation before we are gone or even before the sun sets. We are not just consumers. Our relationships,our communities, must be sustainable. Integrated giving and receiving is more than a physical commodity, its a spiritual contract. And I wondered why I couldn’t get happy no matter how many toys I gave to tots or how many meals I offered the hungry. Its not like these aren’t worthy efforts, they just are not adequate in isolation. In isolation.

At my writing group, I was given the mightiest of compliments. I was told I was a really good appreciator. It brought up tears. It felt like a gut punch. In a good way. And yet, in total opposition to my normal, I didn’t engage in the self-deprecation and downplaying. I was too honored. I felt knighted. I couldn’t even green light my habitual bullshit. But upon reflection, I think part of the tears was the deep knowledge that my powers of appreciation are what get me through the day and keep me from slip sliding into oblivion. So not only to acknowledge that, but to have someone acknowledge that in me, well, it was a Target moment. I think sometimes we get tricked into thinking if we give too much, we won’t have anything. I think sometimes we get tricked into thinking what we do and say doesn’t matter, that we walk through life invisible and impotent and needy. Its not true and it doesn’t have to be true.

So back to the questions, or the questioning, or the doubting, or the borderline self-sabotaging…I like to start with “Why bother?” and a “What if its not interesting or original?” aperitif, followed by a “I can’t express myself the way I want.” salad, a “Will I ever get better at this?” consomme, a palate cleanser of “What is my endgame?” and then a hearty main course of “Does anyone care?” with a side of “Does it matter if anyone cares?” smothered in “What need could I possibly fill?”. And I leave room for a “What if I don’t touch truth or accuracy?” indulgence with a “What if I don’t say enough or the right things?” a la mode. I end the meal with a steaming cup of “What if its just *not that good*, and why does that feel so much worse than just flat out sucking?” with “Aren’t I supposed to make a commodity out of this?” froth topped off with a shot of “How can I be this old and not have a commodity?”.

I would love to say that I have a consistent and considered response to these not very unique questions. I would love to say that they never slow me down. What I can say is some ways of giving and receiving make it tolerable to live near these questions and still go on. What I can say is that when these questions get loud and demand attention, it feels like salvation to get even one ray of sunshine. From an unexpected source, on some non-auspicious day, when shopping in a department store. And these questions? Maybe they won’t always return to mock and haunt, maybe they will make an appearance in writing group, from someone else’s mouth, in another language, maybe I will get a chance to tango with them through appreciation of another.

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