Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Me and darker days, we're old drinking buddies"

I just can't stop thinking about this post:
Hey you. You self-aware crackerjack person you. You know what is important to you and still sometimes you find yourself behaving as though you don’t care about it at all. If this happens to you, I can relate. I set my intention to honour my values and over and over again I steamroll right past those intentions with what looks like rebellion. Why do I keep doing that? I ask myself. 
Or, on darker days: 
There I go again. I’m a total hypocrite. I keep saying how important it is for me to be (gossip-free, eating healthy, balanced) but then I go ahead and (bitch about my co-workers, binge on cinnamon buns, take on more social commitments when I’m already burnt out). What’s wrong with me? I must secretly hate myself and be sabotaging my happiness…. 
Honey. I know those darker days. Me and darker days, we’re old drinking buddies.
and also
The way you phrase a question can make all the difference. Ask not, “why do I keep doing this to myself?” (bound to get you some self-loathing answers) and instead, ask:  
By dishonouring my value of ____________, what value am I choosing to honour instead? 
Another way of finding out is to take a look at the behaviour (in my case, drinking and eating to keep up with others) and ask what am I getting out of this?... 
...What value was I honouring when I joined in unwanted drinking and dessert eating? Connection. It’s huge. I want to be connected to others in conversation and shared experience. I want to be on the same wavelength. 
Sometimes you read the right thing at the right time and it's like fireworks in your head.  This happened to me when I read this.  Why do I choose unhealthy behaviors even though I know better?  Because I'm getting something out of them.  

For example, I smoke because I like the way it breaks up my day into manageable pieces.  I smoke because I like the way that people don't expect me to smoke, and it also creates instant community.  These are desires that I can satisfy in ways that are way less likely to kill me.  

It's so helpful to think about these behaviors in a positive way instead of beating myself up over them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Creeping Vines

O, poor neglected blog.  I hope you've been able to feed yourself in my absence!

I'm kind of in a quandary.  I have this amazing, awesome, powerful job that I love so much, and generates so many feelings and so much fucking amazing material... and I can't write about it.  Not that I can't write about it, but that I can't write what I want about it, because I respect the confidentiality of our clients, and this is a small town, so even the most general characteristics might identify someone.

But I can say that I've been working full time at an agency that provides low-barrier services for homeless and very low-income people in Portland.  It is simultaneously the hardest job I've ever had, and sometimes doesn't even feel like work (work to me is sitting at a desk for 8 hours in front of a computer.  I get to talk to people all day and I'm lucky if I get to check my email once a day). I am fully engaged with my whole person in this work, for the first time in my life that I can think of.

It's the clients themselves who provide the richness of the job, though.  Working with them is making me a better human being, for sure.  Every single day I see both the very best and very worst of human nature, and I am learning how to radically accept these things, and in turn myself. And after years of cynicism and coolness and worrying about what other people think (and, OK, pushing away my own feelings), it feels good to care, really fucking care about the people who use our services, to try to be genuine and present in every moment, to learn how to set boundaries with love.... I am growing by large leaps and difficult landings.

And I leave every day exhausted and with a heart full: or worry, of hope, of love, of frustration, of empowerment, of pride, of sadness.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Figure skating duo wins competition with Mario act

Figure skating duo wins competition with Mario act: "

Picture 2 09-06-52

Watch this video of Russian figure skating duo Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, who won a silver medal at the World Figure Skating Championships this past weekend. The competition was supposed to take place in Japan, but it got moved to Russia after the earthquake.

(Thanks, Paul!)



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