Sunday, September 30, 2007

what to color my life with?

Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I am standing on the precipice. Tomorrow is the commencement of stepping off the ledge into change. This is a good thing. I find change exhilarating and life affirming. Change is inevitable and a part of existence. Now, please understand, I never jump into things willy-nilly, without meticulous planning and foresight. I am not into driving head first into a brick wall. Conversely, I also believe in a level of healthy risk taking. I will write more details soon but for now, I am picking up the magenta crapas and coloring the canvas.

Friday, September 28, 2007

they live among us

they live among us
Originally uploaded by misslissa13

So what are your thoughts on alien abductions? Are people who claim that they have been abducting telling the truth? Is it the truth only as they perceive it? Or are they a bunch of wack-a-doodle-doos*?

* "wack-a-doodle-doos" is NOT a DSM-IV TR diagnosis, however, some people deserve this label.....and that's my professional opinion. ;) **

** this is not supported by the American Psychological Association.


Originally uploaded by misslissa13
What I really want to know is, who would be the person to buy a martini toting, bow tie wearing merman? Is this the gift for someone who owns everything except a martini toting, bow tie wearing merman already? I couldn't see a price tag, but really, such a find...priceless!

Check out those pecs! Ideal proof that water aerobics can work wonders on the physique.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

unfortunate synchronicities and requested blessings

Two days ago, not only was there the car accident by my apartment, but one of my girlfriends from work was rear-ended with her two kids in the car. Luckily, it no one involved was injured too severely. Earlier in the week her son slipped and hit his head on the floor at school. It has been a rough week for her. This dear woman and mother has been through so much in her life and is, indeed, a survivor. This brings up the cliche' but apropos question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

I believe in the power of prayer, positive thought, positive intention, etc. I also believe that the more positive energy, the better the outcome. If you can find a moment in your day to send some "good vibes" to my friend and her kids, I would appreciate it. Even if you are skeptical, even a well wishing of good fortune to her helps. (Hey, you've got nothing to lose, plus even if you don't believe in it, you get some good Karma points added to your account.)

With good, positive intentions and thoughts to all of you, I bid you, dear readers, many blessings yourself!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the car crash and humanity

We were sitting at our computer reviewing some newer photos when it happened. The horrific and unmistakable crunching of metal and plastic; a car accident last night in front of the building next door. There were no screeching tires before the loud thud, just the sound of the impact followed by the backing up of one vehicle and voices yelling at it to stop. Peering through the red Venetian blinds out the window, it was obvious what happened. A late model mid-sized SUV hit a late model Honda parked on the street in front of the stores next door. I asked Greg to call 911 immediately, put on my shoes and went outside.

The SUV hit the parked car pretty hard as evidenced by how far the Honda was pushed out into the driving lane and the damage to the front end of the truck. Standing on the sidewalk were the owners and family/employee/patrons of the Korean restaurant, as well as two random spectators. The owner of the parked Honda, a twenty-something Korean, evidently angered, was pacing and glaring wild-eyed at the woman sitting behind the wheel of the SUV. His girlfriend was unsuccessfully trying to calm him. I asked if they were in the car or injured to which he slightly shook his head "no" while still staring down the driver. The owner of Sun and Moon was on the phone and the others were all chattering in Korean, a language I am not versed. With all of these people, including the two random spectators, no one went over and see if the driver, the only person physically involved in the accident, was okay.

I walked over to her open passenger window to hear her, in a barely audible utterance, saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over. She was evidently upset and possibly experiencing shock over what had just occurred. I am sure this was only being exasperated by the irate Honda owner looking like he wanted to pull her out of the truck and pummel her to pieces. I walked around to the driver's side and motioned for her to roll down the window. The smell of a freshly smoked cigarette permeated my nostrils, but no scent of alcohol. Her facial expression was that of complete upset, practically frozen that way, and she was still saying "I'm sorry". She was almost completely holding her breath and might have expected me to scold her as the others were doing. I gently put my hand on her shoulder, looked her in the eye with compassion and asked her if she was injured. She quietly said "no" and there was no sign of external injury. All I could do for her was to talk calmly, gather her focus and ask her to take some deep breaths. At that point, the first police car pulled up and asked me and the one other spectator, who kept her distance but followed me to the driver's side, to please step off the street so no one else gets hit by passing traffic.

At that point, I made my way back to my apartment but not before a gentle reminder to the Honda owner that what was important is that no one got hurt. I do not think he heard me.

I know that it is upsetting when your car, especially a new one, gets hit. (Heck, all four of the vehicles I have owned have been hit in parking lots usually when I was not even of them multiple times....three times in 7-11 parking lots.) It can even be extremely inconvenient to not have your car for a week or so while it is being repaired. I am sure my previous and multiple car-crunkee experiences do influence my ability to shrug off damage to inanimate objects. It is vital to remember is that a car is only an object. They can be fixed or replaced, but a human cannot. We, as humans, need to keep situations like what happened last night in perspective.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

inviting miracles to find goals

Of the blogs I enjoy reading, an entry on Operation Simplify has inspired this morning's post. The writer of O.S. is this beautiful woman with an amazing family that she shares with us blog readers. As seemingly amazing a woman and mother she appears to be, in a few of her posts she really beats herself up beyond recognition. After commenting on her most recent self-attacking entry, I decided to write and share this tool with you guys as well. It is something I use with clients and myself on occasion.

It's a simple question with a potentially complex answer. I pose this question to you: If a miracle were to happen overnight and you wake up tomorrow with your life (and you) being exactly how you want it, perfect to you, what would that look like?

Take some time to really think about this. Be honest with yourself. There are no right or wrong answers, even if some parts of it are impossible. (Even the "impossible" parts can give you good insight.) Write it down, in detail. Draw it. Record it in whatever way feels right. Take some time to examine what you came up with, what you wrote or drew. Put it away for a day or so, then come back to it and read it again; as many times as you need to.

What are the parts you truly want to attain or become in your life? Break it down and decide what you can do (one piece at a time) to get your life/yourself from "today" to your "perfect" life/self. And try to be kind to yourself in this process (and in life of course). Like I mentioned, there is no dream, idea or goal that is wrong. Even if it's to be a superhero, that is insight. Break it down even more: What does being a superhero mean? Parts of superhero-ness are doable. You can be someone else's hero.

You can use this tool to figure out goals and discover things about yourself. You do not have to share this dream with anyone else if you choose not to. This is for you. If this post inspires just one person, I will be happy with that. If you try it and find it helpful, please let me know. If it is the worst idea ever, share that too. Good luck!

Monday, September 24, 2007

must be a peaceful protest

September 24, 2007
Monks' Protest Is Challenging Burmese Junta

By SETH MYDANS Onlookers cheered Buddhist monks in the largest protests in two decades against Myanmar’s military rulers.

Sorry I do not have time for a longer post this morning but for more info on Aung San Suu Kyi click her name.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

shower games

shower games
Originally uploaded by misslissa13

I could use this post to rant and rave about institutionalized marriage and the horrors of the dreaded bridal shower tradition, but I'm not feeling that right now. Okay, I admit it. I actually had fun at a bridal shower. Honestly, these things are usually tedious and painful, but not this one. This particular shower was for my soon-to-be sister-in-law and the only thing painful was the pulled muscle in my back, sadly from a laundry injury earlier in the day. (Well it could also be from the 2 two hour car rides yesterday, the four hour one last night and the 2 two hour ones today. Sheesh, I have another four hour one tomorrow!) Despite the long drives and pain, there was much laughter and fun to be had. My mother, pictured right, is donning a lovely toilet paper dress from one of the contests. I hope she doesn't mind that I posted it here and on flickr, but I love this photo of her laughing.

I'm looking forward to the wedding in a couple of weeks. I still can't believe my big brother is getting married! Hmmm, I may even enjoy that event......

Friday, September 21, 2007

i don't wanna hear it

Ever since I left my "homeland" of Long Island, I have kept up on local news by reading the online version of Newsday. It is definitely not the best source of news, but it was one of the ways I stayed connected. Lately, I have been disheartened with my daily read. No, not because of the subpar writing or the fluffy meaningless articles, but by the article comment blogs. It seems that no matter the content of the articles being commented on, the discussion becomes a forum for bigotry, hatred, antisemitism and racism. I am not blind to the fact that this garbage still exists in society, but I shudder at how prolific it appears to be on Long Island. I am incredibly grateful that my family raised me with morals and ethics. They showed me how to accept people for who they are, not for the color of their skin or the origin of their family. I also learned to appreciate and celebrate people's cultural heritages. I suppose it is difficult for me to see the perspective of bigots and racists. To an extent, I have some compassion for them. They likely have their views from their own upbringing and experiences, which obviously contained negativity.

Another aspect of the comment blogs that amazes me is the fact that articles on topics such as books, history, fine arts, etc. are rarely commented on at all. I believe this is yet another sad commentary on society. Are people not even reading valuable or educational articles?

Some might ask, "So why read the comments if they irk you so much?" To that I say, because there are the occasional glimmers of intelligent discussion, and I enjoy reading those. Maybe it gives me some idea that there is some hope out there.

And now for you listening and visual pleasure, here's some goofy guy dancing to the apropos song "I Don't Wanna Hear It" by Minor Threat......

.....just to end this on a musical note.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the done list

Done list:

Get through busy workday with lots of meetings with staff and appointments with clients CHECK

Drive co-worker/friend to the airport CHECK (and I got her there on time!)

Acupuncture! Woot woot! ooooommmm aaaahhhh CHECK

Eat lots of raw foods munch munch you betcha CHECK

Actually eat a nice dinner with Gregory holy freakin' yummy CHECK

Decide if I am taking a solo trip to NY/NJ for a Not So Surprise Bridal Shower check?

Get to bed early ummmm, nah, I got Groovy Greg time to spend!

Dream always....check

the clash of schedule-dom-ness

Goal: For Greg and I to have jobs that require us to work similar hours.

It is so exhausting when your mate works different hours. Greg is usually scheduled second shift. I try to adjust my hours as much as I can (I have some flexibility) but it often does not work out. I usually stay up at least until Greg arrives home in order to at least see him briefly before I slumber. Then I have to get up early in the a.m. This does not lead to getting much sleep, and believe me, I need my sleep. He usually works weekends (when I am off) so we cannot even do day trips or enjoy hours and hours of doing nothing together. It is a bummer and this feeling is only amplified by sleep deprivation.


Today's To Do:

  1. Get through busy workday with lots of meetings with staff and appointments with clients
  2. Drive co-worker/friend to the airport
  3. Acupuncture! Woot woot!
  4. Eat lots of raw foods
  5. Actually eat a nice dinner with Gregory
  6. Decide if I am taking a solo trip to NY/NJ for a Not So Surprise Bridal Shower
  7. Get to bed early
  8. Dream

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

oh yes, it's about me (again)

Sometimes when I have difficulty coming up with things to write about, I get a little inspiration from other peoples' lists about themselves. I then use it as a "template" to think about myself. (I know, I know, it's always all about ME. Hey, it's what I am trying to learn about most…myself.) Read it or not….here I come:

- I am the younger sibling. I have an older brother.
- My middle name is my mother's first name and I am very proud to include my middle initial when I sign my name.
- I was not named after anybody or anything. My parents simply liked the name Melissa.
- I am an intellectual snob and I find people who act stupid annoying.
- I am a college class and degree junkie: I long to be working towards additional letters after my name.
- I was born and raised on Long Island. You can take the girl out of NY but you cannot take the NY out of the girl.
- I lived in only two places on LI for the first twenty-nine years of my life.
- Five years after I graduated from Dowling College, I moved to Lafayette, Colorado to attend grad school at Naropa University in Boulder.
- I lived in three towns/cities in Colorado, but six different apartments over a three and a half year period.
- If you want to make me all warm and fuzzy, little surprises do the trick. (notes, inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, hugs and kisses when least expected, etc.)
- I am an actor, but have not been able to audition for four years.
- My earliest memory is from when I was a toddler. My parents were swinging me while holding my hands as we walked through a parking (I think it was at the DMV).
- I claim not to be materialistic, but I wish we were more financially comfortable.
- I used to work as an Interpreter for the Deaf, but then I started feeling like a paid parrot, repeating people all day.
- I love creating art, but I am afraid to start painting and drawing again.
- I love taking photographs. It feels like the safest way to get back into creating.
- The sight of Greg's smile and the sound of his laugh make me weak at the knees.
- There are very few foods I dislike, but I abhor eggplant…always have.
- I take milk and sugar or stevia in my coffee, and my tea straight up.
- I prefer loose tea to tea in bags, but I hate cleaning out the tea holder.
- I do not lose my cool very easily, but when someone crosses me too far, I can be vicious.
- I got my tattoos done in different states.
- The first time I went on a plane it was to Florida, the second time was to Hawaii.
- I took a semester of interior design just because I wanted to be back in school before moving to Colorado.
- It is almost impossible to get me away from a farm stand without having purchased something.
- I cannot get enough of tomatoes and tomato products.
- I eat salsa straight from the jar.
- We moved to Rhode Island to be closer to family and friends.
- If I could only eat one ethnic food for the rest of my life, I would probably pick Japanese.
- I love New Hampshire's White Mountains.
- I would be a full vegetarian if I could give up sushi.
- I will not watch the news in the evening.
- I have bitten my fingernails since I was a child.
- My parents are still married.
- My favorite color is orange. It is followed closely by red.
- I love chocolate, but it makes me itch.
- I only had poison ivy once, and it was because my cousin and I wanted to see if we would get a rash if we rubbed it on our skin. I had a few itchy spots on my arm, but my cousin reacted so badly her eyes almost swelled closed.
- I prefer performing in comedies, but others tell me I am better at drama.
- I prefer coffee to tea.
- I love wine, but rarely drink it.
- I stopped drinking soda back in 1987, but get cravings for it before I come down with a cold.
- I used to bartend at gay bars and industrial/goth clubs.
- I own toe shoes but have not taken a ballet class in many years.
- I am afraid of ocean water.
- Three years ago, we found out that our Irish lineage first came though Canada and one set of great grandparents were born in Newfoundland.
- I used to play sports on boys' teams back when there were no girls' teams around for sports like ice hockey.
- I am okay, but not great at board games.
- I think I am a decent at dominoes.
- I am highly competitive.
- My first band obsession was Duran Duran.
- I was sad when my shoe size grew bigger than my mom's so I could no longer borrow her shoes.
- I easily cry and get emotional over beautiful things like babies being born or people being honored for humanitarian acts.
- I am a pretty good cook, but sometimes my "experiments" do not come out so good.
- I have only seen 23 of AFI's 2007 100 best movies list.
- I have never read a romance novel.
- I prefer non-fiction to fiction.
- I have not practiced organized religion since making my confirmation in sixth grade.
- But I do feel spiritual and blessed every day.
- I have strong calves.
- I have always gotten along well with my brother.
- I wish I had a dog and a rabbit.
- I love to have my hand held.
- I have a newly cultivated love for gardening (pun intended).
- I hate cleaning the dishes.
- My teeth are of crooked even though I had a retainer for a year, braces for four and a retainer again for a year.
- My wisdom teeth pushed the others out of alignment.
- I still have my bottom wisdom teach and they tilt forward into my molars.
- I was absolutely devastated when Jim Henson died.
- The part of my body that I would most like to alter is tummy.
- I was diagnosed with lupus in the past, but do not test for it now. My symptoms were from using artificial sweeteners. Once I stopped using them, my joint pains dissipated.
- I wish I could dance better.
- One of my favorite expressions of affection is how Greg holds my hand while we fall asleep.
- I think that breakfast food can be eaten at any time of the day.
- I do not like the smell of perfume or artificial scents. They give me a headache.
- The bone lateral to my left eye has an indent from a cyst I was born with and subsequently had removed at ten months old. No one notices it until I point it out.
- I stabbed my own foot with a pitchfork when I was in second grade.
- I have a small scar on my right index finger from when my brother accidentally cut my finger with loping shears.
- I still like gardening despite the last two things I wrote.
- I am an Aries and I am rather Aries-like.
- It bugs me when people spit in public.
- I occasionally freak out when driving down narrow roads next to bodies of water.
- I think every woman should love her beauty.
- But I have trouble seeing my own.
- I never realized the capacity of love until I saw Bernadette's daughter Annalise for the first time.
- I find driving therapeutic.
- I love hiking in the woods.
- And doing yoga.
- My eyes are green but were blue until I was two.
- I also had straight hair as a child.
- I wish I could speak Spanish.
- I did one-on-one therapy for Deaf clients in my internship.
- My favorite musical is The Scarlet Pimpernel.
- I do not usually wear bracelets.
- I only own a few pieces of jewelry that actually cost more than $10, but I rarely wear them.
- I suck at returning phone calls.
- I love the mountains, but I missed the ocean when I lived in Colorado.
- I am a very affectionate woman.
- I love to laugh and can find humor in just about anything.
- I respect privacy and confidences.
- I love cold weather.

Monday, September 17, 2007

i've seen the light....a few times

So here I sit on a Monday evening reading through other peoples' blogs and pondering how much of their lives are similar to how I perceive them. My mind often idealizes their existence, put their wordy expressions through the filter of my mind and project their movie onto the screen in my noggin. Even their foibles seem intriguing, interesting and lighthearted. I likely project some of my own wants, desires, and "shadow self" into the mix. How much of what I choose to read, or not read, is a reflection of me? Egocentric, perhaps, but there is a level of selfishness in all we do in life. Even the most altruistic endeavor has some level of benefit for the giver, such as that "feel good" sensation we get when we give to charity or that bum on 16th Street. What does this blog perusing mean to me? I think it aids in me focusing on what things are important to me, the things I want, the things in myself I need to pay more attention to and sometime, it's just because I enjoy reading what other people choose to write about through their own filters of experience. So, what does this blog perusing mean to you? Shed some light on this for me, will you?

bye bye bunny

byebye bunny
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Back "home" in East Prov. Feeling oddly sad, yet oddly content, a dichotomy I've grown accustom to. The ease of peace sits vicariously in my stomach which could tip at any moment towards excitement or towards chaos. Greg, still asleep and in his dreamland, has some time before returning to work. Me? I should be getting ready to head out to the office but felt the need to write for a short spell. Pondering life, thinking about the next adventure we're delving into, reveling in love and existence, and wondering why so much money gets put into wedding days in the northeast. Take a deep breath, it's Monday.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

weddings and fun

wedding flowers
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I actually had a good time at a wedding where I only knew two other people....neither of which were the bride or groom. I've been enjoying these few days of spending time with loved ones, sleeping, laughing at other people's foibles and not thinking about work. These mini-breaks do me good. I have two more weekend wedding related adventures in the upcoming weeks so I will get two more "getaways back home".

Plans are falling into place. I have wonderful people in my life. I am surrounded by love. Life is good.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

aaaahh, what's up, doc?

Raw foods! I am loving this way of eating! I have been eating close to 50% raw foods for a week now and I feel wonderful and have lost a few pounds. Some of the guidelines I have chosen to follow are from the Harvey Diamond book "Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life". My local library only has this book and Carol Alt's book on eating almost entirely raw (too extreme for me). I am glad I have read the Diamond book. Many of his ideas make sense to me (some, meh, not so much....but that's okay) and I am choosing which ones to implement into my life. Depending on how my body responds will depend on what I continue doing and what I decide to change. Diamond's ideas around how to eat fruit and eating only fresh fruit from morning until noon are working out well for me. He also allows for coffee (my vice). My energy throughout the day is steady and my mind feels more focused. He also talks about lunch and dinner having either a protein or a starch (but not both in the same meal), along with a cooked veggie and a salad (any raw vegetable, not necessarily a salad salad). His explanations of food combining also make sense to me.

I am not here pushing his book or eating raw (unless it works for you). My intention in this post (besides telling some of my story) is to encourage you all to listen to your bodies. Our bodies have amazing healing abilities. Think about it. When we break a bone, it's not the doctor that heals it. She just puts the bone in place and stabilizes it. It's our bodies that actually mend the bone. Amazing! I decided to try implementing a raw foods diet on the basis of the benefits I am reading about in books, magazines, raw foodist blogs and journals. I am staying with it based on how my body is reacting to it. I want my body to heal anything that ails it. I want to be energetic and move freely. I want to optimize my health.

Even though, most of the time I am "up in my head", when I take the time to listen to my body, it usually has some valuable advice to give me. My body is giving me positive feedback to this way of eating and I am going to listen and provide what it wants in order to reach the best health I can. I encourage you to take the time to listen to your body. Sometimes it give us pain or discomfort. It is trying to tell you something needs to be fixed. You can choose to ignore it and hope it goes away on it's own, or you can be proactive and do something about it to expedite healing. Best of health and healing to you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

it's getting better all the time

Given time and patience, clarity tends to come. My mood has improved over the past couple of days. I honestly feel that eating more raw foods is having a hand in it. My mind is clearer, my energy is more consistent and my body just feels better. Letting work stress roll off my back (at least a little more than usual) is aiding it as well. Unfortunately, I have been having some difficulty falling asleep, but that will change soon once I get used to new sounds in the bedroom. (Okay, don't make any assumptions here...We did not have a baby nor is this an implication of sexual connotation. Get your mind out of the crib and the gutter! It has nothing to do with me directly and I don't feel it's appropriate to disclose such things in a public forum. Friends and family can contact us if curious.) Having an extended weekend should help bring more clarity. Spending time with family and friends will feed my soul. Seeing Greg more will definitely soothe my heart (our work schedules do not always mesh).

I want to remember that life flows with ease when we are water rather than wood. If we live life as wood, any lit match thrown at as burns us, chars us and alters our being. If we live as water, those lit matches fizzle out. We defuse the attacks, be it from other people, our jobs, or life in general. We, as water, can gently form into any container and still be level on the surface. When necessary, we can rage like the ocean to smooth broken bottles into beach glass.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

thank goodness i'm not luke

Have you ever slept next to Darth Vader? It is actually quite sexy.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

dealing with my demon roller coaster

dealing with my demons 2
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
Warning: no fun or humor in this. This is one of those, raw, honest, admit your faults, let yourself be vulnerable type of posts.

I am going to be a good therapist and preface this with a disclaimer. I am not diagnosed Bipolar (I or II), cyclothymic, dysthymic, or any DSM category. I am not depressed to the point of any self-harm or even harmful thoughts for that matter. I am not self diagnosing nor am going to write any diagnostic criteria here. I am not seeking out sympathy or pity. My intention is to step out of my area of comfort and express my thoughts and feelings with all their dings and dents. Even though I know you all read this through your own filters, expectations and assumptions of me and in relation to your own personal experiences, I will try to be as authentic as I can on here.

This is where I am at currently. I struggle most days with extreme dichotomies. The mood swings within myself rapid cycle throughout the day. Small things (or sometimes nothing at all) can trigger depressed feelings and thoughts. Other things tap into my elation and joy quickly (again, not in a bipolar way, it is comparatively subtle and not to such extremes). One minute I am filled with motivation, the next anxiety. I am acutely aware of how each mood, each change and each experience manifests in my mind and body. Awareness is what prevents me from directly and outwardly expressing my states of mind. I know that my energy affects whoever is around and I do my best to keep it under control so as to not harm anyone around me (by "harm", I mean upset or bringing them down).

Yesterday, one swing hit me so swiftly, that I removed myself from the room I was in with Greg. He is one of the last people I would ever want to cause harm to; One of the most important people in my life. I took some space, used distraction along with deep breathing and was able to let it pass. I then reassured him that it had nothing to do with him. He voiced his concern, but I also let him know that it's my "own shit". Even though I have some wonderful, loving and supportive people in my life, I do not like burdening friends and family with my issues.

I am keenly aware of where many of my problems stem from. Our pasts have an impact on our present and mine is no exception. Repeated disappointments and hurts bring up fear of those scenarios recurring. Fear of not ever having important things happen in my life, such as having a child or getting married, creeps into my thoughts with the littlest triggers. Being hard on myself for things like not yet having my PhD or owning a house shadows the accomplishments I have obtained. Perhaps the most difficult part is the recognition that such thoughts are irrational. Of course, I am also cognizant that feelings are valid no matter how irrational they may be. On the flip side, a single thought about any of the wonderful people in my life or bringing my awareness to one of my strengths can send me soaring into bliss and elation.

What else affects my mood? I have noticed how my hormones can flip it rapidly. How I nourish my body and chose to move it around helps or hinders my state of mind. Being cooped up in the apartment is the perfect canvas for seeing the changes. Even though I cherish my alone time, the lack of human contact brings me down and then I start isolating even more. My bad habit of nail biting (something I've done since, well, since I've had nails) has recently worsened with increased anxiety.

I am doing things and planning other steps that will hopefully help alleviate or lessen the experience I am having:

This week, I got back on track with my eating and have started implementing an at least 50% raw foods per day diet. I can feel the difference already. I am not getting energy crashes or that heavy feeling after eating. I feel satisfied but not stuffed. I even look forward to my morning fruit smoothies!

I started getting more active again, adding exercise to my days. I plan on restarting yoga daily, even if it is only a few sun salutations.

If my insurance covers it, I will go talk to a therapist for a couple sessions. (Yes, even therapists rely on therapists at times.)

I will continue my weekly acupuncture. Luckily, Providence has a community clinic which is extremely affordable. After all of these years, I continue to be amazed at what acupuncture can do for mind, body and spirit.

I will find the time to clean my nails up and be as conscious as possible of when I am inflicting damage to my fingers. Awareness, awareness, awareness.

I will privately journal my thoughts, especially my negative ones, in order to aide in work through them or, at the very least, get them out of my head.

Sleep is important. Plus I love to dream. Getting enough sleep is already a priority, I just need to keep it up.

Counting my blessings. I do this all the time, but sometimes they are overshadowed by the self-defeating, beat-myself-up-for-not-having-accomplished-more thoughts. Perhaps this point should be "get my negative thinking in check".

Purging through my stuff (actual things....and I guess mental stuff) will help clear my mind. My living space both affects my mood and my mood affects my space. This can be a vicious cycle if entropy is allowed to work on either.

Before ending this blog, I also want to apologize to friends that I have been neglecting to call. Sometimes I feel the need to step back from people when I am in certain states of mind in order to process through what is going on. It just gets too overwhelming and I know if I get on the phone, I will just stuff things down and numb myself out, which, in turn, makes me feel like I have nothing to talk about. (This is something I am historically adept at and something I am trying to change). Give me time with this one.

What a bummer of a blog, eh? Well, there are those sides of me that aren't so pretty and even one or two that I don't find any humor in. As I scribe this, I am aware that my mood has been inconsistent but not overly drastic. I am feeling a wee bit better after writing, but it is time for me now to get ready for bed, finish reading my book and do some deep breathing. Thanks for reading this all the way through, you're a trooper! I'll write my next entry when I'm manic. ha ha ha

Saturday, September 8, 2007

who said youth is wasted on the young?

on the agenda for my future is...

Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I spend too much time up in my head and thinking and planning for the future. Often, I have to remind myself to take the time to just stay present, grounded in the here and now. Some days flash by with busy-ness, where thoughts are only on what I need to get done and doing it. Most days, I am focused on things I want to accomplish and what needs to get done to reach my goals. Within the flurry of thoughts and actions to reach goals, I need to stop and take a breath, to observe the here and now.

There are times when these mini "now breaks" come without conscious reminder. This morning I experienced one of those times. I woke up before Greg had to get up for work and took some time just holding him, feeling him next to me, and holding hands. Nothing else existed in my awareness except the here and now. It was a moment of calm, bliss and serenity, no thoughts, plans or worries. As the clock ticked closer to the need to get out of bed, I was thrilled when Greg uttered, "I should be up already, but I will stay two more minutes." Two more minutes of here and now, with Greg. I even stayed in the present while making fruit smoothies for breakfast....yay rawfoods!

One of the aspects of my studies at Naropa that has aided me in being more in the here and now (and less up in my head) was the Buddhism bend to the program. Four semesters of meditation and classes in tai chi in addition to the focus on the transpersonal for three years, taught me how to ground myself; how to lower anxiety and truly experience life while living it.

We cannot stop planning for the future, but it is imperative to not miss what is happening in the present. Take a deep breath. Fill your lungs with life-giving air and just be

Friday, September 7, 2007

so what's up?

So, what have I been up to lately?
  • Reading up on and starting to implement a closer to rawfoods diet. I have been adding lots of fruits and veggies to my days. Much of the articles and books on the topic explain the benefits of diets ranging from 50-50 (raw/cooked) to as close to 100% raw. Decrease in headaches, eliminating sinus problems, improved skin, clearer eyes (How do you get your whites so white?), less heartburn, weigh loss, and increased energy are recurrent themes in what I am reading. I am picking and choosing the parts of the information that make the most sense to me and trying them out to see how my body reacts. So far it seems positive. Discussing it with my acupuncturist she concurs that my body and blood type will likely respond well to such eating habits. The increase in water-filled foods should help both my deep-entrenched dryness (as evidenced by the "cracks" in my tongue) and help lower my body temperature (which tends to run high normally, increases with the slightest sign of infection or illness, or when I have an increase in anxiety/stress). I will keep you updated on this.
  • Stress!!! It seems that stress comes and goes in waves at my job. These past two weeks have been exhausting and very stressful. I love my career, but sometimes it gets disheartening when you witness how many of these kids' families, the "system" and their situations have set them up for failure. As a clinician, you can only do so much; plant a seed, add a drop to their buckets, and hope that many other people and experiences in their lives will continue adding more. Then maybe they will overcome the adversity that they've been born into and have successful happy lives. Unfortunately, many of them will repeat the patterns of their families, but I know that some of them will succeed. Of course, I have to let go of outcomes because they are out of my control. I do what I can and hope they take some of that with them in their journeys. It is just sometimes overwhelming to recognize how widespread the negativity is.
  • Making plans and researching. Ha ha ha! I'm still not going to explain this topic on here yet.
  • A couple of trips back home are planned for upcoming weddings. We have Greg's friends' wedding soon. Luckily, I will likely know at least some of the guests since there are overlaps in circles of friends. And my brother's wedding is real soon!!! Woot woot! I still cannot believe he is actually getting married, but he is...for real. And we absolutely love his bride to be. She's already family....but now it will be legal.
  • Spring (fall) cleaning. Going through stuff, cleansing, and getting rid of the unnecessaries.
  • Sleeping like a log. I have been falling asleep quicker than usual (and that is really quick) and sleeping deep, deep, deep. When I woke up these past two mornings, my body is screaming for more. I think this is from the stress and minor sinus infection I've had going on. I should be able to catch up on some sleep this weekend.

Well, folks, I have to get to work. That's all for now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

ethnocentric us us us

So why is it any time another country gets bombed or attacked, the United States automatically avers that it was to target Americans? Are there times this is true? I am sure it does happen (especially since we do not really have that many friends in the World). But, come on, it is not always about us.

It's almost like saying that a bomber was targeting dairy cows if he blew up a grocery store. ("Well, milk and steak are frequently on the shelves, moo. So they must want us cows dead!....moo.")

Heck, the U.S. is almost as ethnocentric as one of my exes is egocentric.....okay, maybe not that bad.

Thanks for reading my early morning mini-rant. I needed that. Now go relax and listen to some Pavarotti.

r.i.p. luciano pavarotti

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

stupid, funny, hip

I don't know what is with the higher than usual sensitivity to my funny bone as of late, but I just keep laughing at the inane, odd and strange. However, I have always found humor in the "cooler-than-thou" so here's a little bit of found entertainment:

Hipster Olympics

Well done!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

thank god i studied psychology and not psychiatry...or i'd have no one to thank for what i studied

pensive angel 3
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
This article from MSNBC absolutely cracked me up:
Psychiatrists least religious of all physicians

Psychiatrists are the least religious of all physicians, a nationwide survey reveals. The study, published in the September issue of the journal Psychiatric Services, also found that religious physicians are more likely to refer patients to a clergy person than a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Hey Melissa! What's so hysterical about that??!!
Well, It's not the article per se.
So what is it then?
Hmmm, intensely study all about how messed up humanity and their behaviors are and you start to think that there couldn't possibly be a God? Ha ha ha!

Okay, maybe it's just me, but that is hysterical! And I am just cracking up writing this post. Sorry if you don't get my humor. But I must say, if you didn't "get" the title at the beginning, read it again.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

pay up, tenant!

We've lived in this apartment since last December. When we moved in we accommodated the landlord's request of not only first month's rent and deposit, but also last month's rent. This was on the basis of the landlord's logic that we were moving here from out of state. No problem. Our rent checks have always been slipped under his door on the first day of every month (ten months and counting). The checks have never bounced, nor have we ever requested an extension on the due date. This all leads me to wonder why he called us on the phone mid-morning yesterday to check and see if we were planning on getting him his check that day. We have an impeccable rental history with him (and our previous landlords) so why the sudden inquiry of payment?

Perhaps he:
1) needs to catch up on payments of his Beemer
2) has to pay off his bookie
3) is building a paper mache' porpoise out of rent checks and needs to finish the dorsal fin
4) isn't really sure us former New Yorkers/Coloradans can be trusted
5) has to fund his philanthropic endeavors to the "save the bartenders" fund
6) ran out of origami paper and really needed the check to finish his crane collection before winter comes
7) likes to roll around in large piles of money, laughing at us renter-folks and our silly little renting ways
8) wanted to show some authority over us hooligans
9) is using the checks insulate his floors to drown out our vast array of music that emanates from our apartment below his

I honestly have no idea, but it did make me chuckle with curiosity. (take a moment to ponder what "chuckling with curiosity" would look like.) This also made me chuckle:

(I couldn't find a better version of this song, but this is entertaining and well done for someone just playing around with the camera.)

Guess I will never know......or I could just ask him, but where's the fun in ruining my vision of him making a paper mache' porpoise?

take it to the grave

I am Providence
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I have been fascinated with the history and artwork of cemeteries for a long time. Years ago, on many of our walks, my mother and I would take the time to check out small cemeteries in and around my hometown. We would seek out the oldest section and look for headstones that reflect who the "first residents" were. We would feel sadness and anger when viewing stones that were desecrated by vandals. Sadness would fill us as we gazed on the headstones that only had the word "baby" etched on them. No name, no identity, just baby. We would take the time to ponder about who these people were, our imaginations recreating the families in each plot. Never morbid or scary, cemeteries often get a bad rap but I enjoy them.

This fascination grew to the hobby of photographing cemetery art. This started years ago, pre-digital cameras so I have a fair collection of prints in storage at my parents' house. Those include Sleep Hollow and other cemeteries in New York.

In line with the interest in cemeteries, after moving to Rhode Island we discovered that H.P. Lovecraft lived and died in Providence. This morning, Greg and I finally took some time to check out his resting place in the Swan Point Cemetery. What a beautiful place! The many old trees add to the serenity and quiet of this East Side landmark. And talk about a rich history! Not only are H.P. Lovecraft and his parents laid to rest here, but many names that are now familiar to us from area street names and local landmarks were visible throughout. It is also interesting to see the time and artistic craftsmanship that went into headstones and tombs of the 1800's and early 1900's. This seems to be a lost art in the more modern grave markers. I am sure there are exceptions to this but that is generally what I have observed. Please enjoy the photos I put up on flickr. Hopefully you will see the beauty that I see.