Friday’s Focus—Living Dirty

“Addictions are an attempt to cope with intolerable states. The meager lives we are asked to live, in which we are often reduced to ‘earning a living,’ are themselves intolerable. We are meant to have a more sensuous, imaginative, and creative existence.” –Francis Weller, in “The Geography of Sorrow,”  written by Tim McKee from The Sun, October 2015

This quote comes from an interview with Francis Weller, a California psychologist and author of  The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief from an article my brother recently sent me.  Zoltan texted me last week letting me know to expect something in the mail he thought I’d be interested in. Whatever magazines or newspapers he’s sent in the past have always been interesting and so I looked forward to getting this one. When the big brown envelope finally arrived, I eagerly ripped it open and settled in for the read.  And then I read it again, and then once more. Each time, I kept circling back to that quote.

I love, no I crave, the idea of a more sensuous, imaginative and creative existence. Who wouldn’t? I don’t want to wait until I am old to wear purple with that red hat. Shake it up, shake it down, and shake it out. Boogie through your day. Wouldn’t it be great if it was that easy? For some it may be, but for others, like me, not so, at least not all the time. From experiences in my personal life to those I know around me, I’m no stranger to the irresistible pull of addictions used to numb, move on, and make each day—hell, each hour, palpable. The trip up is that it can get too comfortable being swaddled with a habit that digs its way deeper each day until you forget that you’re really only sleepwalking. You’re not really awake, you’re not really feeling, you’re not really living.

I feel that we’ve become numbed by the barrage of violence that daily fills our senses. Add to that feelings of  discomfort about our personal lives, however deeply unconscious they may be, and we’ve created the perfect cocktail of addictions waiting to happen. We need to get dirty and live our lives as if our life depended on it. Because it does. The period of gestation to when we wake up to our lives can be a long time coming for some, but when we decide to emerge through the other side, to living juicy, is up to us.

I don’t think that we’ve forgotten how to but we’ve certainly  become afraid of letting loose and living in the passion and the dirt because we have the car insurance, health insurance, the kids’ education and so on. So many of us have built up a life of what we were told we should have and so we wanted it by default but as the scales of intolerance and numbness tip, some people find a way to heed the siren’s call and throw off the mask. But it isn’t easy. It’s scary. And when we choose that moment to do it, to rip off our own masks, we need to be able to grieve for the loss of who we were, or more aptly, who we thought we were.

Unless there is a blatant loss of a life is no time to grieve or feel sorrow for what is going on inside us and around us. Even with the loss of a loved one, we’re only given a short time to process it before being required to pick up the pieces again and be back at our desks on Monday morning. We don’t allow time to process not just loss, but all that is making up the fabric of our lives  and I’m  not sure we know how to anymore.

Alternating messages of  “Coming up at 11, the latest on the attacks in [fill in your choice of country, town, state, neighborhood]”  immediately followed by a commercial for a new Lincoln Continental or the Super Sale Days at Macy’s comes at a rate faster than anyone can consciously register. The amount of time we’re given a chance to digest is only as long as a soundbyte.

How do you even start to grab the edges of that mask? Notice anything you read or hear that brings you up short; That grabs your attention and makes you come back. There are some whispering memes that are alarm clocks trying to get through the cocoon we’ve wrapped ourselves in. Listen for it and don’t hit the snooze button. Experiencing loss is a part of life, which no one is immune to. Loss constitutes more than the physical death of someone you know. Loss is missed opportunity, personality, a past place or a regret. Without allowing ourselves to grieve over a loss, it will never go away but will only bury itself deeper until we are lying in our own trough of despair and what I call, “Eeyorness” of how our days have become. (Eeyore, the Winnie the Pooh character was always gloomy, depressed, and  a woe is me. The only thing bright about him is the pink bow on his tail!)

Find something to remind you of the spark and make time for yourself to grieve and even wallow, just for a little while, in whatever sorrow you’re carrying.  I hope you find the inspiration, the red velvet and lemonade, in that space and wake up to the siren call of the life you were meant to live.

#takingitdeeper

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Friday’s Focus—The Devil Is in the Details but So Is the Beauty

It’s the little things that often trip up the best of intentions but can also upgrade that trip to something wonderful:

A stranger’s smile.
A penny on the ground.
Winning even $2 on a scratch-off.
Hearing from an old friend.
Your child’s eyes.
Your lover’s smile.
That amazing first cup of coffee in the morning.
That much-needed cup of soothing tea at night.
Finding a parking space right in front!
Your garden’s first shoot.
The smell of fresh flowers.
The feel of dirt under your bare feet.
The sound of children laughing.
The warmth of the sun on your shoulders.
The sound of ocean waves.
Your favorite song on the radio.
The juicy first bite of a peach or strawberry.
And oh, so much more.

On any given day, these things may go unnoticed on your radar, but then there are those days when the little things mean a lot—sometimes the most!

Have a great weekend!
Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

Friday’s Focus—No Expectations, No Disappointments

Oftentimes we have expectations about a particular person or place and when we get there or meet the person, it turns out completely different from how we envisioned it.

It may take some practice but by keeping an open mind with no prior expectations you will have no disappointments.

Have a good weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

Friday’s Focus—Creating From Your Inner Twitch

There is a feeling inside all of us that makes our fingers twitch, our toes tap, and our voices hum, and if you tell me you’ve never felt it, I won’t believe you. We ALL experience this at some point in our lives.

You may not know what that urge is or that inkling or feeling is, but I’m going to let you in on a secret—it’s your creativity calling out, begging to be seen and heard.

It’s like a deep itch that nothing quite yet has scratched. You feel like there is something inside that is so full, so ready to burst but you don’t know what to do with it, like the energy before a storm except you feel it all within you.

Today’s focus is on releasing that creativity and letting it out to be seen and heard. Listen to your creativity today instead of the critics and let it go!

Paint, draw, doodle, take photos, compose a tune using the drums or keyboard on Garageband; sing in the shower or in your car, create a meal with whatever’s in the fridge; dance even if you look like Elaine from that episode of Seinfeld.

Let it out and use today’s focus to create from your inner twitch!

Have a great weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

Blogging From A to Z: Zippy

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I knew from the beginning of this A to Z challenge that I would end it with the word zippy. I tried other Z words—zelig, zaftig, zoo, Zelda (Fitzgerald, not Nintendo’s Legends of), Zippo, even my older brother Zoltan was a potential candidate, but nothing quite stuck.

So I decided to be true to the word that apparently won’t let me go and wants its place in the alphabetic line of this challenge, and thus I offer up the word zippy. It’s a pretty versatile word actually: the classical definition is to be very quick and speedy or fresh and stylish. It can also be used to sarcastically describe someone who moves molasses-slow and for those of us who remember or who are comic book fans, Zippy was an iconic comic strip from the early 1970s created by Bill Griffith. Personally, I have no particular associations with this word except that it makes me smile and it’s fun to say.

I love the peppy and lively energy of the word. Taking this deeper, I think I wanted to end this month-long blogging event on a high note and a smile. After today, I will return to my regularly scheduled programming of posts so I want to thank all of you who have stopped by, visited, and those of you following me since this challenge began. I met some truly wonderful, incredible, inspiring people—writers, artists, photographers, and just plain folks with an outlet and something to say.

So to my fellow bloggers, artists, and soul travelers, I want to wish all of you a very zippy day.

Just took it deeper. 🙂