Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Happiness book update

Hello to you!

I am pleased to say that things are going. Well,

I am fluctuating on the consistency of working on the book every day. BUT, the West Littleton Writer's  Group had its first electronic writing party and I was there (here,) clicking away.

I didn't actually win the word contest; in fact, I didn't write that many words.
Though, now that I think about it, I DID write words, they just weren't words that furthered the book - well, that's not entirely accurate either. But they were synopsis instead of formal content.

I was working on getting the tidbits and starts and random thoughts all in one place; and then having a coherent idea of what all those outpourings were about. (I'm currently using Scrivner, which has some great outline and note-making applications. But I had to figure out how to use it.)

I've been having a lot of cross eyed moments trying to figure out which way I want the book to go.

It's not about writing, that's for sure. I could probably write about Happiness all day and night. Just push the soap box button and I will serenade you with my point of view. But putting it into a book is so very different from putting it into a class. Trying to figure out how to move from A to B in a narrative yet logical fashion is putting me beyond words.

Happily, today's exercise has given me some ideas. And I may decide to get some outside opinions (such as yours.)

Meanwhile, all this setting up will help me produce words. It's not a novel, but I'm going to grace the NaNoWriMo scene with my Happiness book.

And I plan to have the first draft complete by the New Year.

But first, to bed.

I hope you have an excellent day!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Today's Happiness Practice... Discomfort?

Okay. Truthfully (cause we're all about the truth in Happiness,) the practice will be more like meditating on comfort and discomfort - for the next few days.

The amazing woman who leads our writing group shared the message of a motivational video she saw (and I don't have the source yet; I'll add it when I do - if I remember.) And the message was, our brain wants us to be comfortable.

Yay! Good brain. Happy brain. Let's hear it for comfort!

Except, the message continues, this is not necessarily conducive to achieving our dreams. For example:

Being comfortable at six o'clock in the morning, for me, is being snuggled into bed. Even if I would really rather get out of bed so I can wake up gently before I face the world.

And since I really like having about 2 hours to wake up - so I can write and journal and connect and eat and not feel like I'm racing against time - on the days I don't have outside obligations, I take those two hours.

Or more, because it's so nice and comfortable to just sit and pet the cats, and maybe warm up my brain with a book, and I'm sure I'll get to the laundry in just a moment and that'll at least be productive right?

And because those two hours became a comfortable three or four, I don't really get started on my work until 1 or 2. And then I end up looking at all the stuff I really want to get done (like writing books and songs and paying bills and updating the web site and some contract work so it's not at the last minute) and I can't really decide which I should do first, since I want to do them all, and the most comfortable thing is to go sit somewhere else and breathe so I quit beating myself up for being unable to motivate myself and...

Yeah. She's right. Being comfortable is not actually (or not always) a very useful thing. And it's definitely not the same as being happy. Whatever my brain may think.

So this practice (like everything else) is going to be on how to change my brain's programming. I don't actually think of it as hacking; it's more like finding the right hex key - the one that unlocks the trigger that activates the happily productive part of my brain.

Because I do like to be productive. And organized. And the mistress of my own time. I can feel how amazing it will be to create and contribute all the ideas and chores running around in my brain - which happily means I am one step closer to achieving it.

I just have to make it out of the Comfort Trap.

So, this week, I will be practicing discomfort.

And the first task will be figuring out a better name for it!

I hope you have a great (and just comfortable enough) day!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

If I'm not Everyone, am I No One?

So a while back (wow, over two months ago) I was very triggered by a post I read on Facebook.

So triggered, in fact, I spent a few hours trying to figure out how to say "Fuck off!" and still keep my positive, uplifting poster status.

Looks like I figured it out. (grin)

Then I spent a few more hours trying to decide what I really wanted to say about that post. Because in order for my response to make sense, I'd have to regurgitate the post itself. Which I didn't want to do, because I didn't want to spread the harm.

I also didn't want to REACT. React is a habit, an automatic response.

I want to ACT.

So I have written and rewritten and overwritten. And here is the truth for this moment in time.
First, here is the summary of my perspective of the triggering post:

 Before people started shouting "black lives matter," "gay pride," "black history," and "feminism," No One said "all lives matter," "straight pride," "white history," or "egalitarian." Therefore, any who do embrace the "all lives matter" mantra are racist, elitist, and/or entitled expletives, and we need to straighten out our panties, because we're in the 21st century now, boy, and we're gonna get what's comin' to us.

Firstly, I can think of a few spiritual leaders, authors, and public speakers who might disagree  with the premise. Plenty of people have spoken to the fact that All Lives Matter, even if they didn't have a hashtag or banner with that specific phrase! One pretty famous one would be "Love one another as I have loved you."
Another - "All we need is Love." Or a different phrase, which I first learned from fantasy books, "There is no one true way."

But if that were all that pushed my buttons, it would have been easily (and beneficially) typed. With time for a few more examples.

Instead, this post triggered something deeper - an anger, a rage, the last straw on the frustration pile. And in order to ACT instead of REACT, I had to figure out what it was that really offended me. Because, I know if I'm feeling offended it means there's something unresolved in me. (Mirror, mirror, on the screen.)

Obviously, it took me awhile. (over two months.) But I finally figured it out.

I was feeling excluded!

It often happens in commercials - "everyone knows…" "Nobody wants…" "Anyone can..." "It's time for YOU to…"
…this, that, or the other thing.
But commercials are easy to waft away. I understand their aim, their game, and I ain't gonna play.

But the world game? The human game? The living on this earth game? That I do want to play.

Well, I'm still here, aren't I?

And since I am playing (read, breathing,) I want to be represented. I want to stand up and be counted.

And I am not "Everyone." I am rarely "Anyone." And I'm definitely NOT "No one."

And I think blanket statements like the triggering post are harmful. They are mean. They are bullying.  And they imply there is only "Us" - the gloriously amazing people who are proclaiming these specific truths; and "Them" - the terrible, horrible people who aren't.

And that's a lie.

It's not just "Us" and "Them".
There is never a blanket of "No One" or "EveryOne."
There is not only a "Right" or a "Left."
There is more than "Black" and "White."

I will not allow the world to be boxed in like that. Not my world. In my world, we have choices.

So I am acting, I am soapboxing, I am standing up for we who are NOT "Us" or "Them," but "Me" and "All."
I am writing on behalf of the neutral, the inclusive, the unique, and the equal.
I speak for "All Lives" and "Equality" and "Sex pride" (because that includes desire AND gender choice.)

Because history is not black or white, dear ones. It is red. Red with the blood of differing opinions.
Red because people took back their rights but refused to give them to others.
Red from the annihilation of more races, species, cultures, and beliefs than we will ever know existed.
History is one long bloody red battle, interspersed with art and technological advances. 

Matriarchal, Patriarchal, Dictatorial, Democratic Red.

And I don't want to be a part of that. I don't want to play that game.

I want to play a game where everyone participates, even if it is to agree not to play together. There is nothing wrong or bad with not liking each other, for whatever reason - skin color, voice pitch, the way I wear my hair. You get to feel whatever you want!

And this is the 21st century. We have the technology to reach almost everyone. We can share or not as we choose. We each get to believe what is right for us without trying to force our beliefs onto others.  And if we don't want to interact with those who believe differently, we don't have to. We don't have to convert, or eradicate, or consume, or subjugate - ourselves or others!.

We have the space and the ability to be ourselves, whatever our life, pride, history, or right.

Why have people like me never before said "All Lives Matter?"

Because we never thought we NEEDED to. We just assumed all the awesome beings in the world thought like us; that acceptance and diversity were part of life, and that we could celebrate ourselves and our differences without having to make a special law for it. And yes, we knew that not everyone thought that way, but the important people did, and surely all of being-kind would eventually come to realize that every single member matters.

Because all lives do matter. I don't have to agree with someone for them to matter. I just accept that he/she/it does matter. Because I do.

So, if you're like me - Not No One, or Every One, but Some One -  you do believe that ALL beings matter. In all ways. And you're looking forward to the day when this is, once more, something that does not NEED to be stated, because it is universally assumed.

Because we're all playing the same game.
The Long Game.
The Game of Life.

Thank you for being you.

I hope you have a great day.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

"What's food got to do, got to do with it?"

"What's food, but a second hand emotion?"

I mean seriously! Today has been a roller coaster of emotion and practice and energy, and through it all I kept thinking about what food would be appropriate -
* To ground
* To console
* To process
* To celebrate
* To take a break
* To discuss (things over)
* and (now), to eat while writing - though that's actually more a replacement for smoking.

Aaaaaaarrrrrrggghhhh! And to borrow a phrase WTF?!!

But, I finally stopped reacting in horror and frustration (because my body doesn't really want ALL the food my mind keeps saying I need) and I started thinking.

Thinking back to all the birthdays and report cards and milestone events and gatherings and work parties and after parties -  and every single event included food. Including the "What's your favorite...?"
 Even now, celebrations and gifts and "hang outs" include food. Coffee. Tea. Consumption of some kind.

And it's more than just something to do, though that is helpful. It's a feeling of security, maybe. "As long as there is food, there is life." Therefore, if I am eating, I am going to live. 

But it's not true anymore. In fact, some food can be deadly to some people.

And despite the automatic thought process, food does not bring comfort or emotional stability (though there is that whole blood-sugar/ "hangry" issue.) In fact, food often brings discomfort because I rarely find the exact thing that will balance the feelings, and so I keep craving and keep eating.

Well, that was the habit anyway. Now I'm practicing replacing it. And knowing that it was part of the habits of a life-time, and not "just" a fatal attraction to cake - well, knowledge is power. And in that case, that power is the power to say no.

But I am a little sad. All the wins I had today, all the things I am proud of today, all the ways I KNOW I did my best, and it was a best I would be happy to do again - all of today's movement forward and what I end up writing about is food. (apropos?) 

Because what does food have to do with my happiness? Well, when it's stuff my body can process and utilize for my health and well being, then it has a lot to with it. But when it's a substitute for something else - balance, breathing, facing the next difficult step, accepting awesomeness - well, then, it really has nothing to do with it.
Except to get in the way.

I hope you're having a great day!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Today's happiness practice... um, uh, well...

I have been practicing happiness for years, now.
I have received abundance. I have given of myself.
I know I am still deep in practice mode, and that some habits take longer practice than others, to change.

So why am I sitting here, fighting myself? Maybe not fighting myself, but really not wanting to make a decision?
Or maybe not face the decision I've already made?

Am I trying to made it difficult, challenging, a trial? Something to overcome?

Do I feel I don't deserve something? (okay, uncreate and destroy ALL that that is!)

Am I just tired, tired, tired of using all these new muscles, actually doing what I say, living in my integrity and truth?

Maybe, maybe...

The term that keeps ringing in my head is "Keep it simple."

And the simple question is, "What do I want right now?"
Not next week, not in a year. What do I want today?

Yes, the future matters. I am building the future. But fear of or plans for events that haven't happened yet, possibilities that may never happen, or certainly won't happen like I expect because things are changing every blessed day and who knows what the human race is going to reveal about itself next - that is not relevant to today's needs.

Is it too big? Too pretty? Too luxurious? Too outside my sphere of experience?
Too mainstream? Too positive? ?Too safe?
Am I worried I'm settling or grasping or...
Blah! You know what, Lila? It's a distraction. Making it a big deal. Giving it yards and years of importance when it's simply a step.
A change.
A choice.
An experience.
It's something I want to try. And I refuse to judge myself by any other standards than my own.
I asked for this. I accept this. I trust myself and the Universe. I celebrate this change and I allow it to be what it is... not the end all and be all; not huge, not small. Just what it is. Today.

So, today's happiness practice is making a decision and moving on to all the other things I want to do today.

Whoof. Thank you for walking with me through that path!

I hope you're having a great day!