Thursday, October 28, 2010

Self Worth

Self worth, or valuing myself, has been an issue for me since I can remember.
I am glad to report I now believe I am worth the resources it takes for me to stay alive. I honestly spent a lot of years thinking it wasn't fair for me to be taking up food and space and oxygen.
There's been a lot of layers between that and where I am now. Now I am struggling with the idea that I deserve to do more than subsist. That it's ok for me to have savings, to have luxuries, to live beyond "do I have enough for cherries this week, or do I buy a bag of apples?"
And also, that what I do is valuable. That health counseling and working with kids and being a personal assistant (I'm doing that for some friends now, very part time, to earn a little extra) are valuable services, and I do them well, and deserve to be compensated for them. I constantly undervalue these kinds of things and as a result I find myself with constantly not quite enough resources.
In my head I know... child of God, human being, smart, etc... but in my gut I still can't believe I should be earning much above minumum wage, no matter what service I am offering.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Food Blessings

Lately I've become interested in the idea of blessings. As in, for food, not in general. I feel like being grateful for food and all of the labor and sacrifice that goes into creating it, and being mindful of food's purpose is a good idea.
I've spent the past few days looking at a lot of different prayers and gratitudes and devotions and blessings, and this is what I've come up with for myself. I intend to say it before eating or drinking anything. At least for a while, as a  kind of experiment.
In this food (or drink) I clearly see
the presence of the entire universe
supporting my existence.
I am grateful to all of the beings
who have sacrificed and labored
to bring it to me.
May I be nourished
that I may nourish life.


I think I just realized something. Maybe. Although... I don't know what it is...

So, here's what I was thinking. The past few days I've been doing really well with some lifestyle changes. But I'm hesitant to celebrate them publicly because it seems like when I do that, I lose momentum. If I tell a friend, or my doctor, or something like that, that doesn't seem to jinx it. That just feels like accountability. But if I make proclamations (well, OK, this blog has a pretty small readership, but you get what I mean) I seem to lose enthusiasm shortly thereafter.
I was thinking maybe it's a control issue? Maybe when I say to a lot of people "hey, I am doing this" I want to prove to myself that just because I said it doesn't mean I have to do it? Or to reassure myself that it's OK to change my mind?
I dunno, but I feel like if I get too excited too early about progress, the progress slows or stops.
Any thoughts?


I found this attributed to "Traditional Native American Prayer" which is kind of interesting, but I like the words.

O Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me! I am small and weak, and I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
     ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made
     and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may understand the things
     you have taught my people.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every
     leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
     but to fight my greatest enemy - myself.

Make me always ready to come to you with clean
     hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I've had a pretty cool few days.
I've done my morning and evening routines for 3 days in a row now.
Today I was about half an hour early to my sister-in-law's house. They live very near a really delicious French cafe with amazing desserts, but I decided not to spend money on something that isn't good for, that I didn't really even want. I just arrived early.
Then I was driving home and was pretty hungry but rather than stopping somewhere (in fact, nothing even sounded good!) I went home and cooked a dinner. Just some peas and a hamburger patty, but still!
I've also had a really busy several days. On Saturday I hosted the Children's Feast and then help my brother's family unpack from their move. On Sunday I had dress rehearsal for the Ren Fest and then did a Health History interview for school. On Monday I had a massage, then had an extended dance practice. Tuesday I was an administrative assistant (paid!) for a friend and did a lot of studying. Wednesday I helped my family unpack all day and then went grocery shopping. Today I ran some errands, did more administrative assistant work, and then did a sewing project (it actually kind of came out ok, too). Compared to my usual schedule, that is crazy busy. I'm starting to feel a little worn out which is a little frightening because I have big days Friday (a new yoga class, traffic court for that suspended license thing from the car accident, and either a dance practice or my brother's birthday party (I already did a mini-birthday celebration with him and his family on his actual birthday, this one would be a bigger party with more family and friends etc), and I hope to get some studying in. Oh, and I need to go to the library and drop off some overdue books. Saturday and Sunday is the opening weekend of the Ren Fest! And then finally on Monday I have nothing scheduled but a massage. Phew! But I'm impressed I've ade it as far as I have, as well as I have!
I also turned in an application for part-time work at the health food store down the road, today.
So yeah. Yay me!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not Working

OK, that whole last post's idea is totally not working. Like, not even for one day. So here is my new new idea for making the changes I want to: concentrate on times of day, like creating little routines.
So now I am going to try, in the morning, going to the bathroom, doing ablutions, doing my obligatory prayer and 95 Alla'u'abhas and reading some Baha'i Writings, and then making a simple, healthy breakfast (probably a smoothie).
And in the evening, at bedtime, I will do a foot/leg massage, and read some Baha'i Writings.
So then throughout the day I will just need to think about what I am eating/not eating, and getting some exercise and stretching in. Eventually I want to start exercising in the mornings, but right now that seems like too much.

If anyone has any ideas about how to stick with choices, please let me know!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dear Neighbor

Dear Neighbor (not the nocturnal activities one, the other one),

When I first moved in, as I was sitting on your steps watching the movers, you came outside. You talked to me about how much you love the quiet here in the neighborhood and kept emphasizing that word, quiet, as if making sure I knew my role.

All was well. We were quiet. I hardly even knew you and your wife were over there, except for occasional music on the weekends. Knowing how thin the walls are, I usually used headphones when I listen to music or watch movies.

And then, 3 or 4 people came to stay at your place. Looks like your son or daughter, their spouse, and two kids; one in grade school and one only a toddler. They were NOISY. I ignored it, figuring it would be a short visit, no more than a week or so. After all, it's a small two-bedroom apartment. I ignored getting woken up at 6am by a screaming child. I ignored when pictures fell off my wall because of the jumping and thumping. I ignored when my house shook. I ignored the yelling children at 11pm and even midnight and later.

But now it's been several weeks. I was woken up at 6:30 this morning by all kinds of thumping and sliding and yelling. If that van full of furniture isn't the extras moving out, I will be talking to the management.

Tired and Grumpy Me