Category Archives: healthy lifestyle

The In-Between Spaces by Elledge

Was it just a thought? A sound? Was your voice somehow reaching out to me? An image and then images…I didn’t know, and I didn’t really want to consider anything. I was tired. Tired of waking up every morning with puzzle pieces of my past life showering down upon me. Whether it was real or not, I felt like my brain was a magnet of everything and or anything that just showed up at my brain’s door steps.

And then somehow the day got going and I did what I needed to do. Work was done on automatic – but I was efficient; then grocery shopping, daily errands, took the dogs out on their walks…One activity after another, but I didn’t feel like me while doing it. Who was running the show? Was it me? My DNA? Was it society: of which I was a never ending cog in the wheel of something much bigger than myself? I didn’t know. I only knew that I needed some piece of mind, some feeling that I was actually determining something in my existence. Not just being pushed along  the unending chain of: school, work, love, marry, kids, retirement…then the ‘D’ word.

Part of the problem was that life seemed to happen and I’d jumped on the bandwagon without much consideration. Kind of like you’re waiting for the bus on a street corner in a no where city and a bus does come along. You’re not sure if you should take it, but the driver tells you (and the other passengers nod their affirming heads) that the next bus will be several hours from now. Well, of course you get on the bus, right? I mean, who wants to sit around for hours waiting for another bus?…

“What’s that? This bus is going where?”…”To No Where City? And the next bus?….To Create your life Zone and Maybe Be Happy Too?” Hell, I should have waited for that next bus…..

Now what? Well, those images, those sounds, those puzzle pieces I mentioned earlier, were maybe important ones. Maybe my brain was trying to tell me something. Maybe, I needed to listen to my own mind instead of being that ‘cog in a wheel’. Maybe, I could try to hear what my inner self was trying to tell me. Perhaps I had a message to myself that was more important than the constant barrage of messages coming from my computer. The first step? Turn off the phone! Turn off the computer! Meditate…. Breath… Oh yea, I was always forgetting to do that too. Breath…Yea, it was March, it felt like just ‘Another Summer Day’… https://elledge.bandcamp.com/album/another-summer-day

Mental Meanderings

Mental Meanderings

By Matt Carlson

He said, “I’m leaving.” Then he added, “I’m going to stay at my Mom’s.” Then he was gone and there we were, the dogs and I, alone. It was a horrible moment. There had been no real discussion. The phantom that had been my boyfriend for ten years left as if he had never been there. Well, he hadn’t really. I continued to pay for the house credit and other bills alone. I’d lived with someone who had always hated himself, always looking for a sexual liaison with a stranger. Someone who hid inside his computer, then within the virtuality of his telephone. They were safe places, his smart phone and computer, he didn’t have to respond honestly to any questions there. He could easily play with the anonymity of it all. I imagined him locked up in a small room asleep with only cables connected to his brain and a computer while an animated character lived his life somewhere; his real body safely locked away.

In December of 2013, he had simply said to me while sitting outside in the garden, in the sun, a cigarette in hand, “I think we should break up. There’s nothing left between us.” It was the first time that it was he who had brought up the subject; I was usually the one that said it. The way he said it was as if he were waiting for a particular response. I didn’t give it to him. On the contrary, I agreed that it was a good idea to separate. But adding, “I don’t think that there’s nothing left between us – I think we are still friends.” He didn’t answer.

There, I was wrong…It takes two to be friends.

The slippery slope that we’d now ventured upon wasn’t immediately visible. I’d somehow forgotten or put aside the fact that I was dealing with someone who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder; an alcoholic too. Why is it that when we break up with someone, we imagine that they are going to have the same perception of things – or even be reasonable  –  and are shocked by the reaction we have in front of us?  My ex cried that night out on the terrace, sobbing while holding onto his wine bottle and glass. I went to him, to comfort him. It didn’t last long, me holding him in my arms telling him it would be al-right. He didn’t want me to, I hadn’t said what he’d wanted to hear. So, I left him there as his tears subsided in the black of the night, his anger surfacing, on our unfinished terrace. He had wanted me to plead for us, for another chance, to say ‘let’s stay together’ but I didn’t feel that. The on going pain of dealing with this hurt, broken and angry individual had just gone over the top. I had no more desire, no more strength to try and convince him that life could be beautiful – that we could be. Especially to someone who only knew beauty as a concept, as a visual design on a computer screen  –  his true profession in fact  –  a graphic artist – well, it all made more sense now.

Our unfinished ruin of a house sat there. The hours upon hours of my own labor upon it, for it, for us,  would be the weapon used against me to make me suffer. My name wasn’t on the title and all of the promises of protecting me had gone out the window. My ex would try and take everything away, an attempt to erase my very presence from it  –  from our mutual project. Even his Mother would add fuel to the fire by attempting with her son to keep our dogs away from me. A five month ‘kidnapping’ of sorts would end up with my going and getting them at the Mother-in-laws house in the country. She attacked me, but ended up falling on the ground as I avoided her with the dogs in my arms, my ex running after me like a maniac suddenly (though he was supposedly unable to walk at this time due to a back problem)…His attack of feet and fist marks left on the side of our mutual car Peugeot – just before I could drive safely away…

Later on I had to respond to incredible lies of breaking and entering, theft of money and of my own dogs and that I had physically attacked and beaten my Mother-in-law!  It all seemed surreal – but the hate was only beginning. My ex would continue to lie and paint a new picture far from the reality of what was.  I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised by the letter from a shady lawyer hired from my ex describing me basically as a monster, turning the truth into a mockery of justice, or the… and the… etc, etc…

 

Today, I am moving on and recreating a new life. I am still unsure as to whether I want to battle again for at least a return on my investment of my home for over nine years; the fact that I paid for half of his house credit too over that period – a few months paying for it alone as well. I’m feeling like it would take a lot of energy away from me, from moving into a positive direction. Maybe not…  Maybe I need to finish the battle in order to move on… It’s either that or accept things as the way they are and put that aside. What is the most important thing here? To move on? To look back? To move on but to at least respond to what was? To get at least a part of my investment back?

 

I’m still questioning that – if only a little bit.

Some Helpful Thoughts In Life Management by Matt Carlson

Some things that are helpful to remember in life:
1. Have a sincere intention when you do something and be clear about what that is to others.
2. Don’t play into others’ unhealthy game playing, lying or manipulation. Tell that or those people “no” and go on with your life.
3. Don’t judge, but learn to observe things. When you judge something, it cannot become something else, only what you’ve judged it to be.
4. Communicate as best you can & as often as you can. Communication is a bringing together of ideas so that everyone is on board with all of the same elements. If you do not do this, then you are not communicating, only occasionally giving out bits and pieces of a thing.
5. Give of yourself to others. Giving is generosity of oneself. Everyone has unique gifts to give to others. Give freely and often without second thoughts. Without wanting something in return.
6. Take time every day and as often as you can to just be in the moment, to be with who ever you are with or whatever you are doing. Don’t get so caught up in your daily lives, that you forget what is essential: this moment. The past and future do not exist ; the past and future only exist in your mind

Agenda’s: Yours’ or Theirs? by matt carlson

imagesAgenda’s: Yours’ or Theirs? by matt carlson

Sometimes it just doesn’t stop. The constant flow of vibration….whether it be the TV, your iphone, laptop, cell phone, radio, car noise, people demanding, wanting things from you; the kids, your wife (or husband), your boss, dead lines, bills, payments due….then you realize you’ve gotten fat, you’re having a bad hair day (or maybe you’re bald already!) and you think “What have I done with my life? This is bullshit!” And to top it off, you don’t even like what you’re wearing!!!

Well, whoever you are dear reader – you are not alone. You are just caught up in what was once called the ‘rat race’. And guess what? It’s still called that – AND YOU’RE THE RAT!…Yea, let that sink in for a moment. Rat’s being used for experiments (I am totally against animal testing of any kind, by the way) running through corridors where there is seemingly NO escape. But the rats keep running, they continue to search for what they have been conditioned to find. For them, it could be the gratification of finding food, or perhaps a sexual partner…. And you? Why are you running through those seemingly endless corridors or maybe even driving those never ending highways with your music blasting away any possibility of thought?? Are you running around searching for something in particular?

Well, whatever you may think – you have been totally conditioned too. Just like those poor rats. Maybe you’re thinking, “No way man – I’m too intelligent. I make all my own choices.” Well, you’re probably full of crap, if that’s what you think. Because today, we are learning that biology determines most of what we consider to be free choice. That much of what we may think is original, impulses, desires and so on are actually stimulated through our DNA. Do you think you’ve ever said anything original in your entire life? Hmmm; Sorry, but I seriously doubt it… I’m not being pessimistic either, just rational about old time accepted dogma that has become rooted in our thought processes as some kind of truth. But there is hope, not all is lost !

Our perceptions determine how we react to everything. That means that if you believe something is true, you will respond accordingly and usually within the perimeters of your constructed value system. Your value system is a learned ensemble of ideas and concepts that one develops throughout life. You are the total sum of all that you have learned & experienced to this day. It’s those experiences that can alter the exchange between dictating genes and your brain. Enviornmental influences are perhaps the determining factor in change. Taking the time to question what you actually think and what you actually believe is imperative to escape a value system that might not be yours, or at least not consciously; that is to say, if you’ve never taken stock of those things before. What do you actually believe? AND, what do you actually think?

Take food for example. You love to eat hamburgers, drink milk, have fried eggs with bacon for breakfast and chicken curry for dinner -there’s a great Indian restaurant down the street you discovered; maybe you even love “veal”… So those experiences are a given, something you have accepted to be truths, or at least things that you enjoy eating and have experienced. You have accepted these ideas so they are a part of who you are, part of your value system. Now suddenly someone says to you, “Do you know where hamburgers come from?” And you think, ” well yes, of course. From cows.” And that person then asks you, “Do you like animals?” And of course you do! You even have a cat or dog, or maybe a horse; maybe you even grew up on a farm!

So then you are asked to explain how you think that hamburger got onto your plate ie: the process… Hmm that’s a stickler; you know it is. You know that your hamburger is made of beef, which comes from cows, that cows are raised in pastures happily chewing on grass until the faithful day at least. It’s at this moment that your brain starts to get fuzzy, that moment where the cow or “soon-to-be-beef” image starts to elude your consciousness. Why is that? Be cause you don’t want to know that – you don’t even want to see it. And you know what? Neither do the companies that “grow” or “raise” cattle. They would like you to believe that cows actually still live out in green pastures, that they are happy, but otherwise incapable of feeling anything, that they are only “stupid animals”…That’s the same comment I always hear from people who fish, “Fish don’t feel any pain”. So for them, this saying of fish feel no pain helps them to feel alright about what they are doing. But didn’t you say you liked animals? Do you see any conflict in what you say and do?

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So what exactly are they doing? Well, cows don’t live free range out on the pastures anymore. They, like chickens, pigs and other animals that are part of an enormous enterprise called industrial farming are kept in limited spaces, no longer roam about eating healthy grasses where multiple salads are ingested, but are fed grains in a troughby a machine that passes by several time a day so that they will get fatter faster, and are usually killed at 2 years of age. They have no life of their own; they are regularly forced by artificial insemination to stay pregnant ( so you can have that nice cold glass of milk), their babies are  taken away from them only after a few weeks after birth to the immense sorry of mamma cow and baby. The babies (called veal in the groceery stores) are usually tied up in a closed space with very little room while awaiting a soon to arrive brutal death…Of course, for the other animals, it doesn’t get any better. Billions of animals suffer terribly thanks to industrialized farming practices…

Nowadays these same companies are trying to pass laws in order to keep their practices private. That anyone who films or documents the true goings on by these companies be arrested, fined and jailed. They believe that they have the right to do what they are doing and that “it” is “right”. Their belief system. Is it yours?

Still want that hamburger?

Me and Oliver

Letting Go, Balance and LOVE by Matthew Carlson

Hello fellow writers and readers,

This is a follow up of a blog post a few days ago on my https://fingertipmoments.wordpress.com blog site on ‘Good by’s and Maintaining Balance’…

I mentioned in this particular post that I didn’t believe LOVE was an essential aspect of having and/or maintaining balance, and today I would like to clarify that. I don’t think that one needs to be IN LOVE to be balanced in their daily life; however love is an essential ingredient in our lives.

We need  love to develop as a person, the most important time being during our childhood years. A child needs love as much as anything else, like: water, food, touch, feeling safe and warm, love has to be there and constantly for healthy emotional development. Without it, his develoment will be stilted, his visoin of life confused. And the need for it doesn’t stop at childhood either, it is a necessary element thoughtout our lives.

Without Love, a child will not be able to construct a healthy life for himself later on, as he or she will always be suspicious of others. An unloved child will became hateful towards those that hurt him, will not understand those that try to show him or her love. That unloved child will become a manipulator, ‘body language wise’  will perhaps (if able)  imitate appropriate body language, but it will only be an imitation because the development never happened.

Observational and psychological studies have been done recently at the University of Southern California: two groups of children with their mother’s were observed. One group had mother’s that were psychologically healthy and the other group had  mother’s suffering from BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). The results were conclusive without any shadow of a doubt: the mother’s with BPD actually passed on their pathology to their children.

An example: within 12 months (birth to one year of age) in the study group where the mother’s were healthy, at each opportunity to spend time with one another, either the mother towards her enfant or the enfant towards its’ mother, the results were the same – both sides WANTED to be with the other and constantly seized opportunities to be together, to laugh, hug and so on. The other study group with BPD mother’s was exactly the opposite: the children and the mother’s avoided each other and DID NOT seize opportunities to be together.

From what I have read or studied, mother’s with BPD have not developed themselves emotionally so their starting point is off base, meaning there is no platform from which to work from – all murky waters there! They do not recognize body language and facial expressions or detect the thousands of emotional clues as well as being unable to respond appropriately even if they did. Their emotions were never validated, these lifetime seekers of validation, unable to use emotional tools, they develop only a narrow intellectual view or method of understanding their world….and by intellectual, I don’t mean that they are more intelligent, but only that they use an intellectual process to analyse, emotions being too strong are relegated to the back seat (so to speak)  – something to be avoided as such slippery ground to slide upon.

It has been demonstrated also that men & women with BPD have functional differences in identifiable brain regions and here, in the prefontal cortex, which is in fact responsable for impulse control and decision making. You and I use it to equalize our emotional urges,  for example “That man has a gun, oh, he’s duck hunting” whereas maybe with BPD “He wants to kill me! Shoot him first!” (L O L- a slight exaggeration…or maybe not!)…Women with BPD tend to be more introverted and depressed, whereas BPD men tend towards physical aggression and substance abuse. Today over 6 million women alone in the United States suffer from BPD, two thirds higher than for me, however the thinking is that men have not been properly diagnosed for their BPD, that the numbers are probably much higher.

So now that I’ve gone on this tangent of BPD (sorry about that,  because we don’t all have BPD!), I would like to return to the subject of balance in our lives, with or without BPD. I am certain that I was very fortunate (at least on one level in this life that I lead, where it is so easy to get lost) that the love that my Mother gave to me and my brothers, well it made up for so much of what was missing. Even my Dad who was a heavy drinker for 3/4th’s of his life, told us all the time that he loved us. I know he loved me; though he was a tortured soul. Though our lives were far from ideal what with the drinking and the divorces, and all that moving around – not alot of stability- we knew we were loved. That gave us a base from which to work on, to grow, to develop. If one person can love you, then maybe others’ too; that you are finally LOVEABLE!

If you’ve had the chance to have someone who loved you and took care of you, then you too are fortunate. That love gave you something that no one else can give you. It’s the water than nourishes the seed of “you” and we all need it to grow. Many people did not or ARE NOT being loved now, and that is a terrible thing. Reach out to those people when you realize you are in contact with them – it could make an enormous difference in their lives. Maybe in our lives too. No hypocrisy…

To finish off this post cause I think my thoughts are beginning to meander, I read a great African Proverb yesterday and I will try to rewrite it here for you now (i’m translating!)

‘Do the things that makes you happy , spend  your time with those that make you smile, laugh as often as you breath, and love as long & as much as you can, while you are alive.’

Isn’t that terrific? If you follow that, your life WILL BE BALANCED!!!

Have a terrific year, but not only for this year, for a lifetime… 😉