I hear scratching at the door

The wind is up.
Clouds are forming.
Trees are beyond swaying.
Cicadas are still singing, the chorus is loud.
All comforting yet unsettling at the same time.
Can hear the black cat scratching at the door, trying to get in.
It’s not welcome.
The meowing hasn’t started yet.
Can feel myself wanting to open the door, yet I know I shouldn’t.

Easier to open the door.
Letting it in.
Letting it jump all over me.
Demanding attention.
Demanding my time, my soul, my whole.

The black cat is a part of me.
Was roaring loudly for so many years that I couldn’t hear myself.
Found where the roaring was coming from.
From within.
Stopped feeding it.
Starved it.
It stayed silent.

The silence has allowed me to grow.
Finding myself.
Bliss.
Took me long enough.
Yet I still hear…
The door with the scratching sound.
It’s close.
I gave it a little attention a moment ago.
It grows hungry.

The black cat.

It is me, yet not me.
It is a part of me, not my best part, but still me.
I accept it now.
I see it face on.
I know it’s there.
I chose to walk away from the black cat.

It’s a part of me that craves attention.
If the black cat gets it’s way,
It would eat all day,
And demand more.
More food, more attention, more time.
And only sleep when I sleep.

It isn’t the me of now.
Of today.

Walk away.
Don’t look back.
Walk away from the scratching sound.
Ignore it.
Walk away.
Walk away.
Walk away.

Contagion

smiling-woman

©The Huffington Post

Contagion is the word I want to discuss,  the contagious mood of people; the contagion of warm through intelligence.  This contagion should be spread. It is not dangerous. Well in the wrong hands it might be but where there is warmth there is purity. I’m not talking about arson or dynamite here but curiosity.  Curiosity, the spark that lights the fire of intelligence.

I met someone yesterday that spread that contagion. She shone with her intelligence, her warmth. Her genuine delight at another’s good news. Her talk skimming across the surface of the pond, connecting and travelling without effort. The exchange lasted no longer than 15 minutes. It charged me for the entire day. I say exchange because I could tell that the feeling was mutual. It is such a lovely thing to feel the warmth of others through communication.

A gift given freely, openly,
A gift that costs nothing,
A gift that can refused or accepted,
The choice is yours,
What is your gift?

Call me neurotic, but I can’t help but analyse…. everything. It’s an obsession. It’s contagious. To analyse is to examine something in detail, to look closely. I think that’s a good trait.

The contagion of curiosity, of intelligence can be found in the natural warmth of people. People flock to their likeness. Bad people tend to congregate together, likewise with the good. Feel uneasy with your company then you are probably with the wrong crowd. Determining your place is a tricky thing. What you desire to be may be nothing like the real you and that path that you seek can be your own destruction that you blame on everyone else but yourself. Looking at your true self and forging your own path is a daunting thing to do in life. It is full of fear and leaps into the unknown, it is a journey that never ends, until it does, sometimes suddenly without warning, other times with extra play.

A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage…
Bertrand Russell

I felt the contagion of warmth of intelligence. It washed over me in a gentle flow. It wrapped me up and lifted me to the crest of the wave, it carried me an ocean away, it gave me views and support for the entire day, until I could stay awake no more.  It was a perfect day.

I wanted to convey our thanks to her. I wanted to let her know that she made a difference in our lives. She was genuinely happy for us. Her face shone. Her eyes shone. Her heart shone. She was radiant in her warmth. She was contagious. Her warmth reflected back to her from us. I know that she knew that we knew that she knew.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell

An encounter with another person can lift or deflate you. A smile can turn someone’s corner. Not the maniacal grin but the genuine smile, the brief connection, the gift of no expectation, not the flirtatious glance but the genuine smile. The gift of just because you are there, nothing else.

 

Clarity

diamond-cut-scale

©Wixen Jewelers

“There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it’s heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true. God, when he was creating the world, said at the end of each day of creation: ‘Yes, this is true, this is good.’ This . . . this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don’t forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don’t really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What’s most frightening is that it’s so terribly clear, and there’s such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn’t endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it’s worth it. To endure ten seconds one would have to change physically . . . .”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Demons

I have clarity.
I have lightness of heart.
I have joy.

I see clearly now where I looked before. I see you as you are. I see my reality of you. I see through the drapery and the lies. I see what you are. I don’t like what I see but I decided to face you rather than look away. In the past in my subconscious I always held my inner most thoughts private, protected. From what I did not know. I knew just that my pure heart needed protection. I spent years seeing only the good in you. I ignored the reality because I didn’t want to really see. I believed you were better. Now I see you as you are in all your ugliness of thought. I was initially disappointed. Now I feel indifferent. I am not hurt by your lies or your ill intentions. I choose not to join your world of darkness and misery. I am worth more than that. You have made me feel worthless for too many years. You have hurt me without me knowing the cause. I always thought it was my fault. Mental abuse is the label on it today.

I have my aspergers to thank for my inability to understand social behaviour. For so long I could not fully grasp the damage done to me. I had blindly held your words to be the truth. I believed all that you said. You were my role model. Later I had distance and limited interaction with you to protect me. But I see now that despite the ocean between us you were still able to hurt me with the phone calls. I see that now. I always felt deflated after talking with you on the phone. Life shouldn’t have been like that. You should have lifted me up and made me feel good about myself. You should have encouraged me. You should have be my champion.

You never accepted your role. You chose to feel superior, you chose to be vain, you chose to be greedy, you chose to feel jealous, you chose to make me feel insecure about myself. You stole my confidence. You robbed me. You did all this so skilfully that I couldn’t see what you were doing. I thought you were showing me that you cared. I didn’t know any difference. I accepted you wholeheartedly and you treated me so badly.

I am impervious to your poison now. I have been bitten too many times. The venom doesn’t work any more.  I have been in this fog of numbness for too many years. The numbness has finally worn off. I am tired of you. You may not see my scars but they have healed. It has taken me what feels a lifetime to face you but I am facing you now.

I see you. You cannot hide yourself and your actions. I see you.  The odd thing is that you can’t see that I see you now. You have never bothered to face yourself and I see that you think you are fooling yourself, me and everybody else. I see you. You fool me no longer.

Physical distance is a blessing. Answering machines are a blessing. I will be civil. I will not stoop to your level. I will not be used by you again. I see you. I hold you now at arm’s length. I no longer wish to have anything to do with you. I will not cut you completely from my life. I will limit my interaction with you. I will see or speak to you when I am ready to face you.  I will no longer be at your beck and call.  I will see you on my terms.

Thank you for letting me see who you really are. I feel stronger for this clarity. I have a lightness of heart. I have joy. Thank you. I have found my strength and confidence that was there all along. I just had to see it .

MUSIC
Zedd – Clarity

No

no

No is such a small yet powerful word. We don’t say it often enough.
We are a society of aiming to please. We do it so often we don’t know we are doing it, we don’t know why we are doing it and we don’t have time to stop and wonder why.
We try to please our parents, our siblings, our family, our friends, our colleagues, our bosses, our pets, our Gods. We are so busy trying to please that we forget ourselves. We become upset and irritated but we have no idea why. I know why.

No stops time.
No makes you think.
No gives you time to breathe.
No gives you your soul back.
No gives you your self belief back.
No gives you boundaries.
No gives you freedom.

I said no this week. It gave me a headache. It made me doubt the decision. It made me feel selfish. It made me fee unkind. I slept on the no. I woke up feeling stronger. I woke up feeling a little bit more me. I stepped into the light. I feel powerful. I like this new feeling.

We should say no more often.

Just one bite…it can’t hurt

©londonmoorebeauty.wordpress.com

I don’t wish to be obsessed with food. But I seem to be.

Call it the magic hours or the golden hours, the time between eight and ten in the evening are the bewitching hours of when I am liable to pick up a snack and consume it until either the bag is finished or the last crumb is eaten. I crave something to eat at this time of day. Do I really feel hungry if I’m honest with myself? No.

A distraction is what I need.

It all comes down to habits. I have gotten into bad habits. Time to distract myself into a good habit.

List of Distractions
A nice hot bath with candles or bubbles or both.
Watch a film
Exercise
Read a book
Write a journal post
Write a blog post
Call, email or write a friend a letter
Talk to your family
Enjoy a hobby
Play a computer game

Let’s analyse the suggestions shall we?
A nice hot bath, sounds good but does that include wine and cheese? Or a slice of cake with the hot drink? Or a cocktail?  Just kidding! Forget about it.

Watch a film…doesn’t include homemade popcorn. You should know better. You could always knit while you watch. Sketch. Keep your hands busy so you aren’t inclined to think of popping a kernel. Seriously? Popcorn?

Exercise? This late at night? Why not. You could prop up the iPad on the exercise machine and watch a film while you exercise. Perfect. Now why haven’t I done this sooner. Yes why haven’t I?

Read a book…too easy to graze and read isn’t it. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Read in a different spot than you would normally if you like to eat while you read. Break that habit. Join a library. You cannot use the price of books as an excuse to refrain from reading.

Snacking….You could always challenge yourself to eat only what you can eat with chopsticks. Especially for those at a keyboard. Sticky fingers and keyboards are yucky. Drink spills can also be fatal for keyboards. Long stemmed glasses and spare ribs do not maketh a computer snack.

Back to the journal writing. You could write what you are feeling when it comes to the golden hour. You could write what you are thankful for or you could write a food journal of what you ate today. Every item you ate. The quantity but not the calories. The list is enough to scare you. You know deep down what is good for you and what is not. The brain knows this but the heart twists the arm and before we know it the excuses are said and the item is consumed. The momentary feeling of pleasure is lost almost immediately after finishing the item. The feeling leftover is of disappointment. We are our own worst critic and we are harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. We show no mercy when we we should. We are kinder on our worst enemy than we are on ourselves. When will we learn to be kind to ourselves. We are not perfect despite the little voice inside our heads telling us that we really should be trying. None of it is important really.
We should just learn to be happy right. So easy. I said it so it should be done. It’s not done. It’s not that simple. Yet it should be.
Why do we worry so much about what we eat or don’t eat? Why are we so obsessed with food. Too much or too little? It’s where the money is channelled these days. The food industry. Everyone trying to place their product in easy reach of you the consumer. Eat this, not that. This is good for, that is not.

ANYTHING IN MODERATION.

There.

That was easy. That is my rule when it comes to food. That is enough. Do I stick to it? I wouldn’t be writing this if I were.
The little voice on my shoulder is tapping me and asking but what is moderation? You know when you have stepped over your line. And face it. Everyone’s line is drawn in a different spot. What is my line today may be drawn in a different spot next year. We need to feel good about ourselves and that is where we want to head.

Write a blog post,..that’s what I’m doing now.

Can I give you a suggestion. Stop buying snacks. It’s that easy. Don’t have anything in the house that you are tempted to snack on, unless it’s a vegetable or fruit. Treat yourself like an alcoholic and remove the vice from your home. I have cupcake molds and sprinkles and icing but have I made any? No. Because if I make them I will eat them ALL. It is safer not to. I could freeze them, couldn’t I? That could be a solution. But that’s just like having vodka in the freezer for the alcoholic.  If you go to a cupcake shop and you are tempted. Just buy ONE. Gluten free? They have cupcakes for you too.

So you are with me this far and you are still not sure what to do. Avoid the supermarket and visit the greengrocer, you know the place that sells fruit and vegetables. Go to the butcher if you are meat inclined. If you must go to the supermarket don’t walk down the junk food aisle. Avoid all of them, the one with fizzy drinks too. And avoid the alcohol aisle too while you are there. Take the temptation out of your field of view. Distract yourself. Write a shopping list and keep to it.

Good luck.
Go forth and distract thyself.

MUSIC
Groove Armada – Think Twice

Andy Weir

Andy-Weir

©Washington Post

Name: Andy Weir
Passion: Writing
Title: The Martian
Genre: Science Fiction

The enthusiasm in this interview between Adam Savage and Andy Weir is intoxicating. The lengths that Andy needed to go to research for his book is incredible. All this without the help of direct contact with the space industry.  The route he took to be a published author and have his book made into a film is far from typical.
I have requested the book, The Martian,  at my local library. I am 82nd on the waiting list.

MUSIC
David Bowie – Life on Mars?

One good deed

PNP


©The Philippine Star

The national police in the Philippines encourages their force to do at least one good deed every day. Read more here.

What is a good deed?
An act you perform to/for others without expecting anything in return.

Stuck for ideas of what to do as a good deed?
Go here from Hub Pages. Not all good deeds require money.
Or here from Canadian Living.
O here from one person’s blog who tries to do a good deed every day for a year.

1GD (100 Good Deeds) has a cause that is inspiring. Read here to see how they encourage you to perform selfless acts of kindness anonymously.

Make someone else’s day! Get some joy back in your life.

Toxic

toxic

©wikipedia

Harmful.
Toxic.
Chemicals are toxic. So are people.
We are able to read the label on a bottle and understand that the contents are toxic. We know to handle with care and keep it away from small children and animals. We wear gloves and store them away out of reach. Locked up even.
Chemicals aren’t always labelled and they can leach into our water or food supply or the air that we breathe and harm us without our consent or knowledge. Sometimes we know we are being harmed but no one is listening. Sometimes we can’t remove ourselves from the situation through no fault of our own.
I blame it on harmartia. It comes from the Greek word ἁμαρτία. To err or to miss the mark. It is the general word that covers all sins. Sorry I’m Not Sorry.

People can be toxic as well.
How come we are able to tell if a chemical is toxic on a label yet we aren’t able to tell when people are toxic to us?
Should we come with labels too?
“Does not mix well with other.”
“Harmful to children.”
“Keep away from family.”
“Toxic.”
“Harmful to self.”
“Seek help immediately if swallowed.”
“Keep away from others.”
What a world we would live in. I would hate to have to read more labels so perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea.
I blame hamartia for toxicity in people too.

Toxic people can be easily avoided.
Stop calling them.
Stop texting them.
Stop emailing them.
Stop seeing them.
Stop thinking about them.
Easier said than done unless they are family or in the work place. That is a challenge.

Family are a group of people. Bound together through blood, adoption or marriage. Love unconditionally.  Until it is conditional. Life is too short to argue and be full of hate. Let it go. Walk away. Does being right make it worth the effort. Let someone else win the argument. It doesn’t really matter.

QUESTION: You are driving in a car and you are in the correct lane and an oncoming car veers towards you.  What do you do?

(A) Stay in your lane because you are driving in the right lane.
(B) Drive defensively and get out of harms way.
(C) Veer towards oncoming traffic.

The sensible answer is (B) but sometimes we are so caught up with being right that we unintentionally harm ourselves for the satisfaction of being right. Sometimes we are dead right.

I don’t have any answers for toxic people in the work place except perhaps looking for employment elsewhere. Your health is important. Why put up with the toxic environment? You deserve better. For dealing with toxic family here are a few suggestions:

What to Do with Toxic Family Members
(1) Family are people and they have flaws. Recognise those flaws.  Love and accept them but it doesn’t mean you need to be them. You do not have to copy their behaviour.
(2) Limit your contact with family.  (If you are living at home, well then maybe spend time studying, reading, sketching, listening to music, blogging or do sport/music elsewhere. Whatever makes you happy.  Be patient.  But remember while you are living at home you live by their rules. Get a part-time/full time job. Save up. Move out when you are able.)
(3) Be kind to yourself. Mind, body and soul.
(4) Take the time to understand yourself. Believe in yourself.
(5) Step back and reflect. Don’t react. Think. Breathe. Develop patience. Take the high road.
(6) Write a journal. (Worried that someone will read it? Write it on the computer password protected.)
(7) Take the lead on your own welfare. You deserve happiness. You make it happen. Be proactive.
(8) Get advice from another family member, or someone you trust.

You cannot make everyone happy with your decisions 100% of the time.
It’s okay for someone else to not agree with you.
It’s okay for someone not to like your choice.
It’s okay for you to believe in yourself.
That’s the first step.

MUSIC
Britney Spears – Toxic