Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Euphoria: Afraid to trust “the happy”


pronunctiation: \yü-ˈfȯr-ē-ə\
Function: noun
Date: 1751
Etymology: New Latin, from Greek, from euphoros healthy, from eu- + pherein to bear
: a feeling of well-being or elation

This was a very good day. In teaching, it is incredibly rewarding when you see a student engage in the process and apply what she has learned. It is a gift, when a smile spreads across his face as he realizes he “got it”. That happened today and it felt great!

Another gift walked in the door. A high school student aide, who worked with me several years ago came in to check in. He gave me a hug, introduced his fiancé, and talked about all the positive things happening in his life. That, forgive the Martha Stewart reference, is a “good thing.”

Afterschool in the libary I had a conversation about zombies and imortals with a student. We shared what books we were reading, and talked about the best way to dispatch the undead. It was so much fun.

Today, I witnessed teachers doing what good teachers do. I saw accommodations and clarity, humor and learning (not just teaching).

On a personal note, David’s daughter is expecting and she called to share the news. My own daughter has invited me to Thanksgiving dinner and wants to pay for the plane ticket.

In this moment – for today – I need to stay present. There is that voice nagging in the back that says “it won’t last – it’s not real – this happy you feel.” It may not last. And certainly, like pain, happiness will ebb and flow. However, I choose to say no to the fear and yes to happy. It was a very good day.

What Worked for Me Today
Again - getting up just a bit early to meditate and pray.
Eating breakfast - what a concept!

Written for young adults - I am reading the "Mortal Instruments" series by Cassandra Clare. (Thank you Shannon Mode, Willamina Elementary Librarian, for the recommendation.)

My young friend recommends the "Pendragon" series by D. J. MacHale.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Iterative - Sometimes the definition of insanity

Pronuciation: \ˈi-tə-ˌrā-tiv, -rə-\
Function: adjecdtive
Date: 15th century
1. Characterized by or involving repetition, recurrence, reiteration, or repetitiousness.
2. Grammar Frequentative.

Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". It is interesting that 12-step programs have adopted this definition as well.

In a Daily Meditations book, the following passage resonated with me, not because I am in pain today, but because in the past I have chosen to stay in pain. Choosing something different was too fearful.

“Pain, repeatedly experienced, indicates a need for self-assessment…Honest self-appraisal may call for change in attitude, change in behavior or change in direction…Most of us willingly wallow in our pain awhile, not because we like it, but because its familiarity offers security.”

Some posit that change is inevitable. I wonder. If we do not accept change when it comes, or do not seek it when things are awry, we just may find ourselves “wallowing” in our current situation. Pain is the familiar companion.

On NPR there was an interesting story about two men whose sight was restored late in life. Because these men had no visual references, things like buildings or the faces of family members made no sense to them. Their brains had to be retrained to understand the visual images. One man embraced the incredible changes, the other did not. Change came to both of these men. One fought it, and died miserable. The other defined his life through change and expanded his quality of life.

Today, I can say without hesitation, that the changes I have chosen in the past two years ,or in the case of David’s death, forced myself to feel, have brought me to a place where there can be happiness.

Yet, there are still things that make me uncomfortable – uneasy. It is time for a change in attitude, behavior and/or direction once again.

What Worked for Me Today
Following my bedtime routine last night: Hot decaf green tea and Yoga Relaxation.
Reading and Meditating (no ohhhmmmsss) this morning.

Massage & Yoga
I believe I have shared this before. However, it bears repeating. If you are near to McMinnville, please check out:

Seylah is both my massage therapist and my yoga instructor. I use her CD prior to going to bed. She has my highest recommendation.

Treating Blindness Takes More Than Meets the Eye

Daily Meditations
"Each Day A New Beginning" Harper/Hazelden publishers

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Utterance - Been Here Before

Pronuciation: /ˈʌtərəns/
Function: noun
Etymology: from Middle French outrance, from outrer to go beyond
Date: 1450
1. an act of uttering; vocal expression.
2. manner of speaking; power of speaking: His very utterance was spellbinding.
3. something uttered; a word or words uttered; a cry, animal's call, or the like.

archaic : the last extremity : bitter end

Scroll back to March 26, 2010 for the genesis and reasons for the blog along with my start and stop efforts at writing. Three months from my last post, I begin again.

In most religious walks, there are precepts against careless talk. You find these warnings in Hebrew Scripture, the New Testament, the Quran and Buddhist sayings. Governments adopt the same - such as warning people of careless talk in World War II, lest our men be in danger. "Loose Lips Sink Ships!"

We have seen how careless talk inflames hatred and misunderstanding on global scales. This week alone, the world focused on the words of a man in Florida who threatened to burn Qurans (I personally have a hard time giving him the title pastor). Presidents and Generals pleaded with him. His threats were carried round the world.

That's the global nature of utterances - but this blog is particularly personal. It has been a week in which asking questions has gotten me into trouble. I have been there before. However, given that I was trying to be circumspect, professional and extremely judicious in my choice of words and timing I was truly taken aback.

What responsibility does the "hearer" have to the "questioner"? If there is a concern, shouldn't clarification questions follow? Understanding one another blends art and skill. Seeking to understand and to be understood is at times a difficult, but essential, process.

It is a struggle I have even here. How do I frame debate and discussion? How do I present a case so that it is clearly understood, but not careless or gossipy?

Whether personal or professional, the art of conversation conversation, continues to be fraught with pitfalls. However, for this importunate and loquacious woman, it is still a great deal of fun.

What Worked for Me Today
Early Morning Workout - yes I have succumb to those who preach that exercise DOES ACTUALLY directly affect my mood in a positive way.

Breakfast with a Friend - that whole "talking" thing.

Funny Animals on You Tube brought me to a page by "Janhuh." Check out his music.

Join the Snail Mail Brigade
A number of my friends and I are going "old school" and committing to hand writing a letter, note or card each week and sending it "Snail Mail." Wouldn't you like to receive a note? Start with sending one of your own.