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Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

If I build it…

For the record, I’m really happy to be working on building up my blog finally.

I have a long-term goal of documenting much of my life’s journeys as a record – someone existed like this, whatever this is.   Maybe someone can learn something about themselves or another culture from my example.    Maybe not.

A friend of mine denies any of this matters.  Maybe it doesn’t in the long run.  Maybe the information I present here will be data in a file somewhere someday, out of sight, out of mind.   He says he creates art because he enjoys it, and I write because I enjoy it.  I like having the potential for an audience because I reckon I’m an exhibitionist.  😉 Hopefully this month off of school will see both a lot of writing and a lot of art on my part too.  🙂

At any rate, It is in progress.  The seed is growing.

Cest la vie, TBD.

 

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Things I’ve Survived: Sexual Abuse, Bullying, Substance Abuse

Converting this from a page to a category, so this is a repost.  

I have survived some crappy things  in my life, and with the help of intermittent therapy and life experiences over the years my self-esteem has grown tremendously.  The “victim” still likes to peek through my defense systems from time to time, and I know I still have a lot of healing to do.   Briefly, to be discussed in depth over time…

1. Bullying.  At the earliest, I was the kid that everyone picked on in school… “Booger Queen” … for the obvious reasons.   I had very few consistent friends growing up, and I was basically bullied until, and past, JHS.  It wasn’t until HS that I felt I was able to start having a real social life.  Consequently, though, I have difficulty maintaining active friendships.  I have a lot of friends, but not a lot of active friendships, if that makes any sense.  Interestingly, facebook has been a valuable tool for me to be less isolated, and some of my longer-term friends are becoming even greater friends now.   :)

2. Sexual Abuse.  From the ages of 8-13, approximately, I was sexually abused by a male relative who will remain unidentified for now,  out of respect for his own life conflicts that led to him abusing me (he was abused), and for the brevity he showed throughout the years in terms of admitting his wrongdoings and being accountable for them.   I am aware that my gregarious sexual nature is likely secondary to this, but man, am I grateful I am very interested in sex, as opposed to very scared by it!    However, with the combination of the bullying history and this, I have tended to be in serial relationships, also preventing me from fostering active friendships.   However, now, Fall 2012, I am committed to not being in a primary relationship for a while and learning how to have friendships and be more independent – even though I was mostly independent in my relationships but there was a lot of codependency.

3. PolySubstance Abuse.   Addictive traits run in my family, and, having seen their effects  I really never thought it would happen to me.   In my teen years and early 20′s I was sort of a good girl (except for lots of romantic affairs!)  and it wasn’t until my late 20′s that my dabbling in alcohol and drugs took over my life.   I’m grateful to be sober today!   Every time I see a patient in the hospital who is still caught in the grips of the addictive cycle, I feel both merciful towards them and even more grateful for my own sobriety.   My clean date is May 1st, 2007, so as of 2012 I’m clean 5+ years!!!   so as of today I’m clean for 6 years, 7 months, and change.  Fortunately I got clean before getting my Nursing license, and I pray pray pray I never ever pick up again while I am a Nurse!  That is such a scary fate, with diverting medication and trust issues with coworkers and all that.   I am consciously aware of the possibility that if I don’t take care of myself, and if I relapse, that would be a possible ending.

90 meditations in 90 days

Over thanksgiving weekend I went to a retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in upstate NY.   Monday morning as I was walking my dogs I felt amazing! Full of joy and gratitude, and my feelings were tainted by sadness over the weekend so this was a surprise.

After my last visit to KTD monastery for evening meditation in August I swore I would mediate for 30 mins a day.  Snicker.

Now I’m just going to aim for 90 meditations (at least 5 minutes) in 90 days, a la the 12 step advice to make 90 meetings in 90 days when first getting clean. Now it is day 3 and going strong!  I will chronicle that journey here.

Yay, Nature

Man, are my glutes and thighs sore!   My amigo Atiq and I had been trying to get on a hike for a few months now, but “life” gets in the way, sadly.   Finally, today, it happened.

Yet, as we Easterners know .. it snowed yesterday.   In Brooklyn, there was nary a trace left today, and we saw it was going to be nearly 50.  We had the sterling lake loop picked out from the beginning, as an easy-ish 4.2 mile/2.5 hour hike, but not too pansy, and last week I had thought of upping the ante to a medium hike since I had been biking and swimming more.  Then I got sick, and decided to keep it where it was….yet, mother nature decided I was on to something.  Or, us urbanites, who had long neglected the call of nature, ignored mother’s voice.    We get up to the trail, and, oh yeah!  — It is covered in snow up to our calves.   Fortunately we went in the afternoon so we had other footprints to follow and tread through.   Four hours later, and multiple pleas in the last leg of “this has GOT to be the last hill!” from both of us..we came full circuit.  Unfortunately, by the end of the hike we both had wet socks (of course we had changes – rule number one of hiking!) – but only one of us had a change of shoes – me, the pack rat, of course.  🙂    Next time though I need to bring a change of clothes to prevent the post-exercise sweat shivers, and pant guards.

The hike was quite beautiful but fairly ornery, given the added difficulty of the snow.  It perhaps made up for my lack of exercise this week.  The base terrain was slippery slush and awful for walking on, but the snow was the perfectest snow for snowballs!   The lake was beautiful, of course, with it’s gradients of slush and ice and resting, clear waters.  My favorite part, though, was an opportunity to slip into nudity for maybe 15 minutes, and the universe supported that because nobody came along to that particular spot until we were leaving it.   Getting naked in the nature is one of my all-time favorite things to do!   It wasn’t ridiculously chilly, and really, it was quite refreshing.  It just feels awesome, as awesome as slipping into the softest sheets feels.  My skin felt alive, cleansed, as if my whole body was breathing.   🙂     My other favorite part was the pure silence at times.   My ears aren’t accustomed to quiet, though, and were ringing for portions of that.

I also think about the colors I chose to wear.  Red jacket, orange pants, my yellow backpack, and green hair/underwear.   Straight up the chakras, there!    I am contemplating some more proactive second chakra healing, beyond therapy to deal with the abuse.    The second chakra has to with power, sex, and money….all things I have issues with.   It is so nice to see pictures of myself wearing all these colors, though.  I feel so energetically alive in that regard, and I used to be someone who owned 3 of the same black turtlenecks.   🙂

On the drive back we ran into multiple circles of hell trying to get out of Joisey (why aren’t the turnarounds labeled as such?  Or labeled AT ALL?, and why are there no signs for the Parkway North, only South, on 17S?)   — to the point where the usual heaviness of reaching NYC limits was actually a relief.    Furthermore, every time I updated the google maps directions it had something different to say about where we should go…17S….no 17N….NO 17S!!!     Of course, it had to happen while I was navigating, when usually that is my forte.   Thanks for making me look like a fool, google.

I was grateful for the opportunity to get the hell out of dodge today!

Wow, it’s midnight.  I didn’t think I was going to last that long.  Bedtime.  🙂

Lessons learned about food today

The Ugly:

While reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, I was introduced to the concept of Pink Slime.  Did you know that up to 15% of your ground beef can be comprised of this processed by-product melange, and still be labeled 100% ground beef?   Technically it *is* part of the cow, but it sure ain’t technically meat (muscle).  To kill bacteria it is also kissed by ammonia or citric acid.  Yum!

The Good:

+ Last time I juiced a bag of oranges I sat there and peeled them one by one.  My fingers were sore the next day!  This time, I serendipitously learned by trial that quartering them is a LOT faster.  Next time I will let them warm back up to room temperature before processing.

+ I made a potato-leek soup today based on the Julia Child recipe, adapted by YumSugar, and further adapted because, darnit, I didn’t have enough leeks left.   Added a celery stalk (since I had seen celery used on another recipe), used 2.5 cups of veggie broth (all I had left), 2.5 cups of chicken broth, and 1 cup of water.  Probably didn’t saute the taters and leeks long enough, hated adding salt at the end, but it is necessary-ish, and also added some of TJ’s italian pancetta.  Should have added an onion, but it is a’ight, edible.   Unbalanced.  Not sure what rendition of potato-leek soup I’ve had in the past commercially that made me want to make it at home, but I will keep trying until I find a variation I like (not today).  Perhaps I will also just try again with the proper amount of leeks.  I’ll try a non-dairy vegan version eventually too.  🙂

The Gratitude: 

I’m grateful I felt well enough to start some cooking this afternoon.   I have been feeling ill all week, with a combination of some stomach thing and sinus thing and today and yesterday my liver is annoyed, though, previous liver tests showed nada (biliary colic, perhaps, they say).

I’m grateful I have consciously prepared a homemade juice and/or smoothie every day since the I Can Do It – Ignite! 2013 conference, also inspired by Kris Carr’s urging (of the crowd.  Wish I was hanging out in her kitchen with her. *grin*)  Also serendipitously, my ninja blender broke while making the smoothie the day after, and my friend and I were picking little plastic blender bits out of one of the best smoothies I ever made.   However, I ended up buying a single-serve smoothie blender and that was the best thing!  SOOOO quick and easy to make a smoothie in a rush!    Less stress than making a whole blender full.

I’m grateful I finally used my food processor for the first time today after owning it for nearly a year to make the soup.   I had bought it and not used it because, you know, I wanted to watch the DVD and read the instruction manual, and all that jazz, AND, I had that kickass ninja blender that could shred a thick porkchop for the pups in no time at all.   It was used previously by a roommate to make cakes, and lo-and-behold, it was super easy!  I am much more likely to get around to making cookies now!

I’m grateful I have a soup in my tummy that didn’t come from a can, but was made by my own hands.  🙂

I’m also grateful I just wrote a blog entry.  May I continue to write.

(and OMG, I’m grateful the puppy is napping on the couch and not running around!)