Friday, September 25, 2009

Dialogue (Option Style)

A dialogue with myself exploring why I judge myself so harshly for craving sugar and gluten. A dialogue is a process taught at the Option Institute (where I was for a year), a type of question and attitude for exploring self and instigating change. As follows:

OK, so why do you jusdge yourself so harshly for craving sugar and gluten?

Because then it's more ok if I mess up.

How does judging make it more ok to eat sugar and gluten?

Because if its hard to quit, its more reasonable to eat it. Like with quitting smoking, people applaud you if you cut back, they applaud the effort. But I feel like I'm supposed to just stop flat out.

Why do you feel like you are supposed to just stop?

Because people treat it like it should be easy. But I guess that doesn't mean it has to be easy for me.

Does it mean that?


OK. So why do you judge yourself harshly if you want to eat sugar and gluten?

As a way to stop myself from doing it; if I eat it, then I'm a really bad person and get a lot of self-punishment, so I avoid it.

How's that working for you?

It kinda sucks, 'cause I mess up anyway, but then I also have to feel bad about it. But I'm afraid to stop judging, because I don't know how else to stop from eating the stuff.

What are some ideas for other ways to stop?

Reward myself for certain periods of time without doing it... but I can't think of any rewards that I'm not already doing regularly or that don't involve sugar and gluten. Or just decide I want to be healthy and that its worth any sacrifice.

Do you believe that?

No. I don't know for sure if its worth it or not. I've never really been healthy. But wait. Wouldn't it just make it ok to go out and eat sugar and all, if I didn't judge it?

You tell me. Would it?

No... because its still not the healthiest option. I mean... it would be OK. But it wouldn't be the healthiest choice. So its back to deciding if I really want to be healthy.

Great! So, do you want to be healthy?

I... don't know.

If you had to take a guess what would it be?

I hate that (lol)! OK, if i took a guess, I would guess... no.

Why not?

Because I don't know what its like to be healthy, how it might feel, what I might do... I might have to change the story I tell myself about who I am.

How do you feel about that?


Why does changing your story mean you feel afraid?

I might not like who I become. Like sometimes I get really silly or over assertive and such. Sometimes when I'm feeling good I'm not sure I like myself all that much. I think I might be annoying. Especially when people are used to quiet me. ... Maybe it doesn't matter.... I guess I might wind up losing friends, in the long run though. I used to (and still to some degree) not like being around really energetic people. I found/find it annoying sometimes. I don't want people to feel that about me.

Why not?

Because the people I'm friends with now mean a lot to me. I don't want to lose them.

How do you feel at the thought of maybe losing some friends if you change a lot as you become healthy?

Afraid. And sad.

Which one would you like to explore?

Sad. Because I think I'm just afraid of feeling sad anyway, so sad is the root.

OK. why does the thought of maybe losing friends mean you feel sad?

Because I would miss them. And I might not make more and then I'd just be this hyper, annoying, lonely thing.

Do you think that would happen?

No. Not really. I think most of the people I hang out with would appreciate if I had more energy and was more lively.

So are you still afraid of losing friends if you change?

No. But I still kind of want to judge myself so its OK with me if I mess up and eat sugar etc.

Why is it not OK with you if you eat sugar and gluten?

Because it means I'm weak.

Why does eating sugar and gluten mean you are weak?

OK, it doesn't really. Because I'm actually doing pretty well, considering where I'm coming from with it all.

Great! So would you still judge yourself for wanting to eat those things?

Maybe a little... because I'm still not sure how else to motivate myself. Going towards health doesn't seem to be motivating enough.

Why not?

Well, actually, it might be. I've never really tried it, without being afraid of being healthy, which kinda makes it all backfire. I think I'm going to try that. I guess.

You sound unsure. Is there anything else you'd like to explore?

No, I want to stop for now. this post is already way too long. ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Environmental Impact

I'm reading this new book (as in, it was just published) called "No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process".... but let's just call it No Impact Man, shall we.
Anyway, its gotten me thinking about my own environmental impact a lot more than I generally do. This dude, his wife, their 18 month old daughter, and their dog attempted to live in Manhattan for a year with zero environmental impact. I'm still kinda at the beginning of the book (page 67 of 243) so I don't know how it went totally. But still, I'm thinking about me more. I do things already like use cloth grocery bags etc, but I can definitely be more strict about the things I already do (ie if I forget my bags in the car, I'll go ahead and get the plastic ones). The way I'm eating now definitely decreases my trash output. Since I eat so much fresh I'm not generally using containers or packaging for my food (except meat...hmmm...).
I think my biggest trash offender is the cats. Their food cans are not, as far as I can tell, recyclable. They definitely have to have litter, and I scoop it into plastic grocery bags to throw out. I had the idea to use old litter bags (I mean, the bags and boxes that the new litter I've purchased was in) to scoop into, but then I can't recycle the packaging. Anyone got ideas about environmentally friendly cat care?
I get a lot of random mail I don't even look at too. The flyer thingies and all. I hear there's lists to put yourself on to stop getting those... I should do that.
I could definitely be walking places I'm currently driving to, though I do try to combine outtings so it's not quite as bad.
Shopping at second-hand stores as a first resort sounds pretty easy too. I already buy recycled and recyclable products when I can, and biodegradable ones where possible as well. I decided a while ago to stop using the dryer but that hasn't happened yet, heh. The aircon is a problem. Really, I'd suffocate without it. It just gets so hot here. And I rent so I can't really change it to something more economical or whatever. And I can't turn it off when I'm away, either, because of the cats. Huh, pets is kinda unenvironmental. At least, the way I'm doing it.
Anyway. I'm thinking about my environmental impact.

Special Needs

I just had a revelation. Work with me here, heh.
On a photography site I use, I was invited to join a group called "Photographing Children With Special Needs." Which I did. And posted pictures of my son, Kahlil. Which led to revelation number one: I am the mother of a special needs child. I guess since he died so young and I never really got caught up in parenting, this never occurred to me despite his obvious disabilities.
This led me to the kinda more current revelation: I also am a special needs person. I have diagnosis that concur. Maybe because of my work, maybe because it's just who I am, I don't have a negative connotation for "special needs." It just means, someone whose needs aren't the normal needs for their age/gender/whatever. This realization is actually really liberation for me. I tend to treat myself with a "geez, get over it already!" attitude. But if I'm a special needs person... well gosh, of course someone with special needs has special needs!
I feel free-er to be who I am and do what I need to do.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Birthdays and Weddings

My birthday (the 15th) was really good. I had a picnic lunch in the park with a good book and then a dinner with most of my favorite people. (Hey, my blog thinks I'm British, it wants me to spell favorite with a u!) Unabashed plug for a friend's restaurant: if you are in the Charlotte area check out Blu Basil at Costwold shopping center. It's yummy! I also had a lot of fun making greeting cards for people.
Yesterday a really good friend of mine and a person who I've known for a while but would consider new in the friend arena, got married. It was a really sweet wedding and a fun reception (with gorgeous decorations!). Best best BEST of marriages to them! (Even though I realized this morning that their reception made me get lots of super itchy mosqito bites).
In more everyday news, I'm struggling with the no sugar and gluten thing. I'm looking at it in a way that makes me feel deprived rather than healthy, and I can't seem to shake that point of view. Though I did not eat any wedding cake, even though there were dairy-free gluten-free options, because they still had sugar in them, yay me! "Want" seems a more empowering word than "need" or "goal" to me. As in "I want to eat brocolli" instead of "I need to eat brocolli." I think it's the rebel in me... if I feel like I "should" do something, my tendency is to go the opposite. Same for most of my goals. But... I'm not sure if I'm ready to change my thinking on that...
Oh well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Present and Mindful journal page

Monthly Resolutions- September

I'm stealing an idea from a friend and setting some goals each month. I know September is half over, but better late than never!
I also decided that I'm not going to explain or defend the goals here. If you're curious, set up a private consultation.
-walk at least a mile at least 2 times a week
-eat only the stuff I'm supposed to
-say BOTH the obligatory prayer AND the 95 Alla'u'abhas EVERY day
-start journalling artistically (an idea stolen from the same friend as the monthly resolutions idea... what can I say, she's one groovy chick!)

That's good for now. There's other things I'm working on, but this is enough of definite commitments.

Friday, September 11, 2009


All of the regular props and sympathies and prayers. Of course. But hey, my blog my thoughts, right? So...
What's the difference between remembering and dwelling? I mean, just for me personally. each person do things their own way. But for me. Like, I recognize the date. When I think of the planes, the buildings, the people, I am saddened. Concerned about the current state of the world. And I choose not to think about it. I mean... I vote conscientiously. I have been known to sign petitions, write senators, et cetera, at times. I have views and opinions. But I choose not to dwell on things that make me feel bad. Does it make someone less "human," less of a caring person, to choose not to? Should I be wallowing in national sorrow? what would be the point? I can make my choices without extra pain.
I guess that answers my own question. I am sorry for the losses, the fears, the things I can't even imagine. And I can express those things knowing that its not my pain unless I choose to make it so, and without dwelling in it just for the sake of a date.
And yet.... I still want to sign off with "I'm sorry if this sounds harsh." Heh. My brain; so crazy, so unconvinced of itself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I need some. Besides just to myself. I do better than way. I do have an ideal that I should (argh, I hate the word should!) be accountable to mostly to myself. That I should care enough about the things I'm doing that me knowing when I'm not doing them is enough. But it's not. Dammit. But I need gentle accountability. Not in-my-face damnation accountability. Or anything at all resembling that. I just want someone I can tell my mistakes to, to have an outside witness.
Any volunteers, lol

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm frustrated.
I've got this set of things I need to do to feel my best, or at least to work toward feeling my best. I really do need at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep. I need to eat every 2 to 3 hours. I need plenty of downtime and alone time.
Sometimes this conflicts directly with what I want to do. Like tonight, for example. I have the opportunity to see a friend that is visiting from New Zealand for who knows how long. I saw her twice already, but still, she's an amazing woman and I'm feeling greedy about wanting to spend time with. Instead of having dinner with her and my family, though, I'm staying at home having downtime and alone time. Which ultimately is better for me; though I see both companionship/love and downtime as needs of mine, downtime is kinda a more basic need I think. Especially when I was with people for 8 hours straight yesterday (that's kind of a long time for me even without the medical issues I'm having lately).
But I'm not happy about it. I wanna be down the street being with people I love.
Any ideas about how to find peace, or even happiness, with choosing to take care of my more-basic needs?