Monday, May 30, 2011

Balance and self-improvement

Why I Write (And How Writing About Writing Is Like Dancing About Mathematics) | Owning Pink
This is a very inspiring post.
On the one hand, it's a nice idea, to be totally transparent with your writing and not care what others think.

On the other hand, I'm too cautious of a person to do this, and I've seen and experienced too much to be totally comfortable with this idea.

I've been reading lots of self-help books lately. I always have, though. Continually looking for ways to improve myself and my life.

One of my other blogging friends showed me an article about "maximizers" versus "satisficers." Basically, maximizers shop around and review almost every possible option and make an informed choice. Satisficers go with what's "good enough." Satisficers are actually supposed to be more happy.

I would definitely say I have some "maximizer" tendencies. And I don't want to turn my back on that. I feel my drive for self-improvement can be a good thing. But I need to be careful and reign it in sometimes, to avoid "the grass is greener" syndrome.

One of the reasons I've been getting into paganism and Wicca recently is the emphasis on balance. I tend to be a person of extremes, or so I've been told. So balance can be a good thing for me, while keeping in mind the saying, "Everything in moderation, including moderation." Sometimes you need to go all out and totally let yourself loose, you know? At least I do. I generally err on the side of not crazy enough. I don't do crazy self-destructive things when I let go. I guess I need to trust in myself a little more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Attitude adjustment

Going from a macro to a micro level, let's talk about how I've been changing my attitude.

I've struggled a lot lately with negativity and pessimism. My friend Ericka and a book about the plasticity of the brain helped me start on the road to a more optimistic self.

The basic trick is when you start having negative thoughts, try to think of something pleasant instead. I don't even always fully realize the pleasant thought. Often it is the thought of thinking of something pleasant that helps.

As another friend of mine pointed out, this does two things. It stops me focusing on the negativity, and it starts me focusing on something more positive.

This has been pretty successful so far. Ironically, some of the stressors I've had most recently have died down a bit as I've done this. But I think even if they flared up again I'd be a little better prepared to deal with them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Synchronicity : Divinity

Synchronicity : Divinity

If the world is out there, orderless, yet obeys the laws of nature, one of those laws is that the world itself changes as you perceive it.

We can literally make the world more ordered. So it's not a question of the nature of the universe. The universe chamges according to our "subjective" perception. We just need to decide how we want the universe to be, and see it as so.

Divinity is our own personal power working with the laws of nature. If we want an orderly universe where great stories happen, always with a happy ending, we just need to let ourselves flow into it. If we have faith, the reality will come. If we wanted to be guided, we will be. It doesn't matter if a god is of our own Creation - She is real, and just as powerful as if She had existed independently of us. The gods do not exist without us - or maybe they do, but go into dormancy when we don't see them. Maybe they are like us once they have been created. A god is real if it has a discernable effect on us or something else. Did it exist before us? Maybe. Maybe our ancestors created it, but each god with a history has some human influence. Any human who speaks of a spirit or elemental creates one. We need to integrate our own stories to avoid horror stories. But each story has darkness. It is a rich tapestry of good and evil. It can be a story, or a painting filled with brighg colors. I choose life.

"All I refuse and thee I chuse."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The purity of sexuality

The problem with the virgin/whore dichotomy is that is leaves no room for pure sexuality.

Pure sexuality seems like such an oxymoron in our weird, all-or-nothing sexual culture. (I am speaking from a Western, American perspective here). But I think it's a concept that needs to be reclaimed.

I believe the quality of your lovemaking is directly related to the quality of your relationship. So when you're in a loving, lasting, awesome, love-someone-quirks-and-all kind of relationship... the foundation for good sex is set.

And I mean the kind of sex that you compare to pizza: "Even bad pizza is good pizza."
(Pizza is my favorite food, go figure.)

I think that's why I get so mad when people try to laws in place that limit one's sexuality. For example... since I do not want to have children... or be pregnant, at all, and yet I am a sexual being... I am firmly pro-choice. I am a STRONG believer in birth control as well, but I think abortion needs to be an option that is available, especially in the small but viable chance that birth control fails.

By the logic of people who are against abortion, because I never want to be pregnant or give birth, I should remain celibate forever. And it makes me so mad - and sad - that someone would want to take this wonderful thing away from me.

It's true that many people don't make good choices when it comes to sexuality. But it comes back to when I was in middle school and the whole grade would be punished because of the perceived "bad" behavior of a few. I never thought that was fair, and I still don't.

Maybe pure sexuality isn't very common. I could be one of the lucky ones. But it's a worthwhile goal, don't you think? And I think it's hard to start heading in that direction when you start with the premise that sex needs to be limited to a certain gender, position, etc.

But now, when I write this, I am thinking that sex with limits *is* good. That's what "safewords" are for, right? I guess sex is healthier when you do have boundaries that you are willing to enforce. I guess I'm just not comfortable with somebody else setting those boundaries for me.

For many, abstinence is an excellent choice. It was an excellent choice for me for many years. But I think it needs to be an *individual* choice. Just like every other sexual decision.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Legacy to Humanity

I have been watching Dr. Who recently, and it's got me thinking about my legacy.

Since I plan to remain childfree, I haven't always given much thought to the children of tomorrow. I have always wanted my legacy to be more of an artistic one.

Lately, though, I think I've been trying too hard on the artistic front and losing sight of the bigger goal: a mutually beneficial relationship with the rest of humanity.

There was a child on Dr. Who who was given the charge of passing down a message to humanity in the future, whether through myth, story or religion. The ultimate goal is for us to coexist and help each other as much as we can, whether it's through raising a good person, writing a beautiful book, or helping someone today in some small but significant way.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Take a breather

When the going gets tough, it's even more important to take care of yourself, not less. It's easy to justify letting something go, like going to the gym or making a somewhat healthy meal. It's even easier to justify letting yourself go emotionally, like not taking a sick hour or pushing yourself to the point of stress at work.
If I prepare myself for tough stuff that's going to happen by putting me first, I'll be able to be more there for myself and other people.
this article contains a gem that summarizes this nicely: "The moment to take a breather is at the exact moment you feel like you couldn’t possibly do that."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The End of It All

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we deal with our own mortality and the mortality of our loved ones.
I've focused more on the latter most of the time, because I never really thought about or feared my own death as much. This morning, I started thinking about it more.
I wondered what it would be like to not be. Or if my consciousness would be somewhere else, some other place where I'd be unable to communicate with the living.
Mostly, I thought about an episode of the television show "Scrubs" I saw recently, where an elderly patient who is checked into the hospital says she's ready to die. Her doctor, the main character J.D., finds this hard to believe and has her go over a list of things to do before you die. She's done most of them; he hasn't.
"What about you?" she asks him. "How many things have you done?"
She tells him to worry about himself, not her.
And she's right. I should be worrying less about the eventual demise of my loved ones and more about how I'm going to feel when that moment comes.
I envision myself hurtling toward death, but also thoughtfully savoring each moment. Not as if it were my last, but as if I were to run out of them. Because I will someday.
I want to feel as if I've spent my time wisely when I die. I want to be like Mrs. Tanner, and be ready for death when it comes.
Here's to living for today.