Monday, May 28, 2007

Out of control sleeping

I’m completely backwards right now. I didn’t sleep last night, and I slept today from 10am to 6pm, but to be fair, I was sick.

I thought about it...

eating my dinner mindfully that is. But I was watching 24 and didn’t want to wait. Terrible, I know. But I did notice how good my stir-fry was, and I noticed that I wasn’t eating mindfully, so that’s somethin’ I guess.

I missed yesterday

Not a good start, but to defend myself (against my superego) I was having really bad stomach cramps and didn’t even get any sleep. I missed today too, since it’s already past midnight, but there’s still some residual cramping. Obviously I didn’t make it to the community yoga class today. Hopefully tomorrow I will have a bit more energy and my stomach will be settled. I’d hate to think I was getting an ulcer.

A few minutes late: Gratitude for May 27

1. Chamomile tea. This is the tea that got me started drinking tea, since I couldn’t take the fruity types. It’s just good for everything. I wish I could drink it every day but apparently you aren’t supposed to, since it can cause allergies to ragweed (same plant family).

2. The body’s ability to heal itself. I can’t think of a more fantastic thing than that.

3. Friends who care. I’ve had some nice sympathy and caring remarks from a few people during this horrible weekend. It is really nice just to know they wish me well.

4. My vitamix. I made a really cool raspberry sherbet for dessert tonight! It’s so easy and takes only a minute with the vitamix.

5. My meds. I hate having to take them, but I have to give them props today, for taking away the worst of my aches and giving me enough energy to actually make a healthy meal.

Vegetarian day

Well, I did not have much choice, since I have no money and no animal products at home, but I ate no meat or dairy today. I actually made this awesome stirfry:

onions
garlic
edamame
shitake mushrooms
broccoli
carrots

I sauteed the onions and garlic in olive oil, and then added a little ginger tea to cook the rest of the vegetables. I added sea salt at the end, and served it on a bed of organic lettuce. It was the best stirfry I’ve made in years, and it was only with the stuff I had left in my vegetable drawer! Very healthy too, I must say.

For dessert I made a kind of raspberry sherbert thing in my vitamix – frozen raspberries, a little tofu, cranberry pomegranite juice, splenda and ice cubes. It was pretty good and only took a minute!

This past weekend I think I hit my bottom when it comes to food. I was up all last night with stomach cramps, terrible ones. I’ve had them before – 3 years ago they sent me to the hospital. I did a lot of breathing and rubbing my stomach and chamomile tea seemed to help a bit. I think I am just seriously run down, and have really been filling myself with junk lately. I made a promise to myself that I will NEVER let myself feel this bad again. I want to remember this weekend. I want it to be pivotal, as hitting bottom is for alcoholics. I feel so very toxic, and I am through with feeling that way.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Greening

I bought energy-efficient lightbulbs yesterday for my table lamps. Step by step…

Karuna Knits

Well, if the name isn’t taken. My idea is to do Karuna meditation with each piece to infuse it with compassion, healing or whatever else I can think of. I can do different meditations by request. I think this is an original idea (PLEASE DON’T STEAL IT), so it will increase the value of my work and maybe make the world a little better place. Of course, I can’t make any guarantees about the quality of my karuna…but I’m sure it will become more powerful as time goes on. I’m toying with the idea of doing it AS I’m knitting, as opposed to spending an hour with each piece afterward. Or maybe doing them in piles. I don’t know.

To make it official, I want to register the business, start book-keeping etc. I plan on selling at craft shows and markets, as well as on a website and e-bay. But one thing at a time. I have a number of pieces to finish up and some things I want to make for myself before I start really cranking it out. I would love to have a good size inventory by the end of the year, but that’s asking a lot. It will depend on how much the knitting machine can help me go quicker, how much time I spend on embellishing, and how much time I can spend working each day. Some of my other goals my help with time, some may interfere, so my 40 odd things is always a work in progress.

Yoga

I’m trying to change my attitude towards yoga. I want to learn to see it as a tool for spiritual growth and healing rather than exercise. In my practice I want to focus on breathing and being in tune with my body rather than trying to “work out”, push myself or attain “perfect postures”. I would like to include chanting, pranayama and sitting meditation into my practice as well as asana. I think it would help if I studied yoga philosophy as well, and tie it in with my ayurvedic study. I want to spend at least 2 hours a day involved in yoga, perhaps more, perhaps split into several sessions. I would also like to vary my activities and see if there are methods of yogic walking.

I am interested in vedanta and developing all four yogas – jnana, raja, bhakti and karma. I want to find personal ways to accomplish these factors, ones that are comfortable and practical to where I am in my process. For instance, I don’t see myself bringing milk to a deity at a hindu temple, or volunteering for habitat for humanity! I have been resistant to the karmic and bhakti paths in the past, but I am starting to open up to them. I will have to do more research, but it is possible that singing kirtan can be my bhakti, and infusing my knits with karuna (compassion) by meditating with them can be karma. Also, asana can serve as bhakti – caring for my body, prana and the divine within. Asana can also be raja if I include meditative poses and generally attain a meditative state while I practice. Jnana will only be difficult to fit in because I like reading about so many different things. I will probably have to put some other interests aside for now, but I think ayurveda can be part of my jnana practice.

If my social plans fall through tomorrow I am going to try to go to the community class at Atlas studio. I am a little less comfortable going to that studio than the Queen street one, but I think I can get over that. Living within blocks of both studios is great, because they seem to be quite different in the types of classes, schedules and fee options. But I am glad they both have community classes.

I still haven’t done my surya namaskara today, but I will before I go to bed, which will be soon.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gratitude for 26/05/07

1. That my dog loves to cuddle. It’s the only contact I get regularly, and it’s very comforting.

2. The people who own the convenience store I go to. They treat me like I’m their favourite person, though I know they give the same attention to all their regulars. They are so friendly and like to joke around and I ALWAYS leave there with a big smile on my face.

3. Crystal Clear Water. I can’t describe how much more refreshing their filtered 6 ways water is than other bottled water. Don’t even talk to me about tap water, I can’t drink it at all! CC water tastes so healthy and clean, and since I drink a lot of water I really appreciate it! Plus it’s pretty cheap if you fill your own containers – and better for the environment that way.

4. Anything that warms up my feet – thick socks, slippers, heating pads, water bottles, massage, sticking them under my dog :) Last night they were so painful but I was able to warm them up with my hands and get the circulation going enough to fall asleep.

5. Dollar stores. They’re so convenient – yesterday I needed a phone line splitter and just popped in there to get one, for a buck. If I went to an electronic store I probably would’ve paid five bucks for the exact same one. Dollar stores are great for gift wrap, dishes, and kids toys that don’t cost you an arm and a leg. The kids don’t know you only spent five bucks on them!

Yoga goal

I believe that the universe conspires to help you when you are going down the right path, but my faith took it’s first recorded blow yesterday when I tried to go to the Community Yoga class at my local studio. It was cancelled – the instructor said they NEVER cancel, except this one time – the last class of the teachers in training who instruct the drop-in. It took me a year to work up the courage to go – I have a very strong fear of being judged because of my weight, even with my social anxiety improvements. I was quite upset about it. But I did manage to do some stretching yesterday.

So I’m going to try to go to another class soon, but in the meantime I’m setting the subgoal of doing at least one sun salutation a day. I will do it this afternoon or before I go to bed today.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gratitude for 25/5/07

1. Effexor. I can actually look people in the eyes, and talk to people I haven’t seen in years! I no longer feel disconnected, isolated, alienated…and so less depressed. I even enjoy strange old ladies.

2. Increasing daylight and warmer weather. If I had to live in perpetual winter, I think I would, well, decide not to live. Spring brings all those smells you forget, and the sky opens with endless possiblities. You can just enjoy walking around outside, without any destination.

3. That I don’t have a crappy job which would also make me not want to live. I’ve got to do something meaningful, something I like, and something I’m good at. I don’t like being an expendable ensign.

4. Animals. They just make me smile, no matter what.

5. Forgiveness. I thought I’d burned a lot of bridges with a lot of people, but that’s turning out not to be true. Now, I just need to forgive myself a little more!

Does blogging count?

Goal: Journal regularly.
I guess it does. I’m writing a tonne about my life and activities just on 43things and Blogger. I really do miss the pen and paper thing though.

Progress: learning to sew

I put a sewing machine on my Wishlist (http://wishlist.com/mmartin) last night.

Untitled

my body is aching for backbends!

Untitled

Well, I stayed up late last night watching movies and organizing my favourites on my computer. I was so exhausted from getting up early I could barely move, and had trouble getting to sleep. This morning I woke up at 10 am, which is not so bad I guess considering my usual time is after 12, sometimes WAY after 12. I think I might try having an afternoon nap on the days I get up at 8 or earlier.

Untitled

I took it out of the bathroom today and thought about starting to put it together. I don’t know why it scares me so much. I think I’m afraid of getting frusterated with it.

So far

I’ve read a couple books about single stigmatization, the best one is called “Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored” by Bella Depaulo Ph.D. It really made me start thinking about this issue as an issue. I realized that I co-operate with the stigma by making fun of myself for being single, when really it’s a personal choice I’ve made and there’s nothing wrong with it. Apparently, older women who’ve always been single are the happiest people, tied with those who’ve stayed married. So there’s no benefit in being married in terms of happiness.

I’ve also visited a website long ago about people who choose to remain childess. I’m sure they are stigmatized as well, left out of gatherings with their other coupled friends because there’s no kids to bring along.

I’m thinking about starting a Causes group for this on Facebook. But I think I have to find a suitable charity foundation for donations! I’m not sure there’s one out there yet, and I’m not up to creating one. Maybe someday.

Did some research

on the internet yesterday. I first went to www.edacwr.com and got some information on programs available from www.nedic.ca on a program running in several places in Southwestern Ontario. I can self-refer to the one out of Guelph, so the next step is to call them. It’s an out-patient program, covered by OHIP, so that’s good. I can probably get transportation covered by ODSP if I have to go out of town.

However, I binged crazily yesterday too, so I guess my efforts were neutralized in a way. I woke up this morning with a carb hangover.

Yesterday

I ate pea soup semi-mindfully. At least it was at the kitchen table, that’s a start.

More Facebook Groups

I joined a couple environmentally-oriented causes on Facebook, including Stop Global Warming and the Green Challenge or something. I’m pretty poor so I don’t consume a lot, I recycle every scrap of paper and everything else that’s recyclable, I buy stuff from second-hand stores. I wish I could afford fair trade things and organic produce but I’m not at that point financially yet. I’m lucky I live in a new building which was designed to be somewhat energy efficient. I don’t own a car, so I walk or take the bus. I have fibromyalgia so riding my bike is too painful. I’d like to get a moped or even a more comfortable bicycle someday. I try not to get too many bags at the grocery store, but the ones I do get I reuse or recycle.

I’ve tried to change my cat litter to more environmentally friendly types, like recycled newspaper (Yesterdays News brand), those crystal kinds, wood shavings etc. but none of them work very well – they either track more, smell worse, or don’t clump (which makes you have to use more), than clay (which is strip-mined). I’ve heard about wheat litter but haven’t been able to find it at any stores here (ontario).

I try to buy food in bulk or that has less packaging. I also try to buy more fresh and local foods, but since I am only one person, they go bad very quickly and going to the store everyday isn’t good for the environment either, since i have to take the bus. I try to avoid buying anything plastic, especially containing PVC.

I worry a lot about the coming weather changes, keep reminding people who consume more about global warming, and get angry at politicians who aren’t doing enough, though I don’t know if any of that is helpful! I give energy-saving coupons to my family if I can’t use them, to encourage them to make small changes. I like to learn about new products and energy systems. I watch documentaries about the environment and try to stay informed. I don’t feel like I’m doing nearly enough, but I’m doing what I can with such limited finances!

A start - fight for animal rights

I joined a couple of animal rights causes on facebook, and invited some other people. Since I can’t afford to donate money, I’m going to have to figure out how else I can help!

Animal rights has always been a cause I’m interested in. I can watch human violence on t.v. and hardly blink, but if I see an animal being abused, my heart cracks wide open and bleeds. It hurts so much, because they are so helpless and I can’t understand how anyone can look at an animal and want to exploit it instead of care for it. I know that some people just don’t care for animals, but being disinterested is not the same as being cruel. These people don’t have pets or work with animals, so they’re not doing any harm. But someone who purposefully gets involved with an animal and then hurts or neglects it is flatly an immoral, unethical person.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Love It!

I don’t know what it is about blues, but it’s so much better live. I used to go see Mel Brown regularly, and enjoyed a number of other blues guitarists, including a friend I used to have. Every year there is a blues festival right outside my building in the summer, so I always go to that. I’d like to go to bars to see live blues music, but I don’t have any friends here who have this interest. So part of my goal would be to find a friend or two to join me, since I don’t like going alone.

What I mean by companion:

I see a lot of people using this word to describe a same-sex romantic partner, but that’s not how I’m using it. Though I’m “heteroflexible” (my new favourite word), what I’m looking for is friendship first, someone to be my “main” person, and I’d be theirs. This could be with a man or a woman. A sexual/romantic relationship would be a bonus, but is not necessary. We’d share most things with each other, perhaps even live together. If it were to be a platonic relationship, it would still have a level of commitment that we’d trust each other not to just run off with someone else, or let someone else take over our lives. We’d be committed to being single. Though open to love relationships with others, we’d share the characteristics of being very picky, seldom dating. We would expect to be together for years, but wouldn’t begrudge one another getting married or something like that. Ours wouldn’t be a relationship of convenience, one we were in while we were waiting for Mr. or Miss Right to come along. We’d be satisfied with our lives the way they were and take our relationship seriously. Of course it would be great if it turned out that this companion and I were in love and that’s that, but it’s more important to me just to have the intimacy of a deeply committed friendship.

Now I’ve laid the foundation for what I want. I am happy with my life as a single person right now, but it would definitely be enriched by sharing it with a like-minded other.

This has been my dream

for years. I want to move into a van, preferably a VW, and just drive, stopping at whim to experience whatever is there to experience. I love BC, so I know it would be great. I had this whole idea that I was just going to drive around in my van and write articles about my spiritual seeking experiences and sell them to magazines…I even had a name for myself “Van Mystic”... I’d also sell crafts from the back of the van, offer yoga instruction and/or do tarot readings for people I met on the way.

Well even if I never get to do this for a living, I’m still planning to do this particular drive. I may even decide to come back up along the East Coast, thereby circling the continent.

This goal for now is just an intention. I don’t have a car, let alone a van, and I am not yet financially able to support myself. Plus I’m not healthy enough to be on the road for such a long stretch…cuz I’d want to sleep in the van or camp sometimes, and my body doesn’t agree with anything but a good bed!

I have a person in mind

but it’s a secret for now. It’s been so long, and I’m not sure I’m ready. But I have been a lot better socially lately, so I am not worried about an actual date – it’s just the stuff that may come after, e.g. a relationship, that scares me. I’m afraid of losing myself again, that I will not be strong enough to stay me in the face of wanting approval and/or to be liked. This is really important to me.

Sewing Machine

I’ll have to get one. I think I’ll ask for one for my birthday this August. I want to add fabric pieces to my knitted items, and I also want to try making “guru skirts” (see http://www.wearguru.com – though last time I checked the site was under construction). I bought one in Nova Scotia a month ago and I love it, they’re beautiful and rather simple pattern-wise.

Apparently

there is an eating disorders program at my hospital, so I am going to check it out. I’m always embarrassed to be around people who have anorexia or even bulimia because they’re so thin, whereas I have binge eating disorder, which makes you fat cuz you don’t purge. It’s like I have the “loser” e.d. Nice self-talk, huh? Well, I’ve admitted it, that’s the first step. I went to Overeater’s Anonymous a few years ago – one or two meetings but I felt a little weird about it. Perhaps I should give that a try again.

Today

I got up at 7:30! I got tonnes of stuff done this morning too, cleaned my apartment and did some errands I have been putting off. I think if I’m going to get up early, I can’t take my sleeping pill. I didn’t last night and was able to wake up. I went without the pill for a month last summer but got so run down and my fibromyalgia flared up. So we’ll have to see if I can strike a balance between getting up early and sleeping enough.

I'm ambivalent

about even trying to do this. Part of me thinks I’m just wired to be a night person, and the other part thinks I’d be healthier if I got up with the sun. Some mornings I just can’t get up. If I have an appointment I usually can, but I can’t set appointments with myself and stick to them… It’s literally painful to wake up when I’m not ready. I don’t sleep well at all, and I usually have crazy dreams in the morning – two opposing factors in my struggle to decide whether I should even try this. I used to get up at 5:30 am to go to swim practice, but that was half my lifetime ago and even then I was barely conscious and totally grumpy.

did them

again today. There was only one rackful this time, so I think it was the perfect amount. If I cook more, I use more dishes, so I’ll have to do them more often.

Did them all today

But now I just have to keep it up. You’d think it wouldn’t be hard since I’m only one person, but I just let them pile up until I have no counter space left (I don’t have much to begin with). I don’t cook much either but I’m going to start using my new recipe books soon, so there will be more dishes to do.

I've had an online business

for a year now, but haven’t made a profit yet. I’m having a set back because I can’t open my products file and the supplier won’t help. I should be able to do it after father’s day – then I’m going gung ho and putting another couple hundred products up. Then I’ll add shipping to Canada. After that, I will get back to link exchanges. Then the thing should run itself, and hopefully I can pay off the business and start getting income!

This month

I’ve had 4 true orders – two pairs of socks, a shawl and a shrug. One pair of socks is in trade for a dinner we already had, and one was with the great orange sock yarn from Cloth and Clay – charging $35 which is still not what they are worth hours wise. I found a website that shows how to knit socks on the machine, so that should make things easier once I complete the goal of learning how to use it. The shawl is also $35, and so far I’ve gotten $45 for the shrug – which I designed myself – and am hoping to get $15 more. I’ve also made a soap holder which I threw out because it sucked, and am working on a cotton towel – teaching myself to knit using the combination technique which is supposed to be faster once you can do it well. I also started the striped galaxy crochet sweater but have had to put it aside due to the orders.

Well now

I’ve misplaced my camera, so I’m going backwards in progress! My place is pretty tiny so I can’t imagine where it could be. I’ll have to dig through all my bags to see if it’s stuck in one of those!

Nephew's birthday

and I was too damn lazy to get my camera out. Besides, everyone else was taking pictures, so I can just get them to email them to me…

Forgot

I was at my friend’s house yesterday and totally forgot to take pictures of her kids before they went to bed. Grrr.

Right now...

I am in the middle of “The Wisdom of Healing”. It’s a bit dry but supposedly comprehensive. I’m a little confused about whether I should avoid my dosha’s food or consume it – and whether I have any real imbalances and what to do about it.

gave up on the book for now

I just haven’t had time to read lately, so I had to take the book back to the library. I did look up Ayurvedic daily routines online, and found a great website – Maharishi Ayurveda or something like that. They seem to have a lot of good info. I find it really hard to do anything in the morning before eating because I always feel weak, but they suggest giving yourself an oil massage, bathing, doing yoga and meditation before eating! They also want you to get up before dawn, which I think is a bit much.

First, I need to read the book!

I have the book “Longevity Diet”, which is the only book recommended by CR followers. So the first thing to do is to read it. I also want to combine eating this way with Ayurvedic reccomendations for my dosha (Pitta, Vata). Today I did really well without reading the book, I ate yogurt, a bran muffin, Omega juice, salad with nuts and dried fruit, and a kiwi-berry-banana health shake with Vega powder. I did have one pop, but this is by far the healthiest eating day I’ve had in a very long time!

Power Yoga!

I was very into yoga last year, and I want to start practicing daily again. I want to very gradually work into the entire Astanga series 1 as presented in Beryl Bender Birch’s Power Yoga. I have the DVD and the book!

backfire

the more I think about doing the positive things that I want to do – eat right, do yoga, meditate etc. the more I am doing the exact opposite. I’ve struggled with this my whole life. I know how great I feel when I do the right things, but it’s like I have a most stubborn side that just says no for the sake of saying no. At that side is winning at the moment. Well, I’m doing well today so far, so that’s good. One day at a time.

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Disclaimer

I sometimes write things that I don't really mean or believe. These are not to be taken literally, nor as definitive statements about me or my beliefs. Thoughts and emotions are transient, and I reserve the right to change my mind, generalize, exaggerate, give strong opinions, or write other possibly offensive statements. I don't lie, but I may say something that's not true to check whether I believe it or not, or to make a point. Call it creative license. This is my blog, and do have the right to say what I want. I'm using it in creatively therapeutic ways. Whatever the reader may think of me and my words, please believe that my core intentions are always good and I never willingly hurt anyone.