This is a reminder all this horrible, unedited, ranting. (err writing) is copyright Corrine Chancellor 2002-2016 Thank you for reading!
I just finished reading the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It reviewed many concepts I learned in dialectical behavioral therapy, though the two are not connected. Both are inspired by Buddhist mindfulness and being present. When I dreamed of time travel I dreamed of traveling to the past or future, but appartently traveling to where we are now is the most valuable kind of time travel and the only possible kind. Mentally I dwell on the past reliving old mistakes. I journal this way, regretting something I can't change or even feeling nostalgic for something I don't have anymore. I also live in the future, where I anxiously wonder what will happen and make up these what if scenarios. Living in the now frees a person from both these mental traps. It felt like the book repeated the same idea different ways and answered the various questions about living in the now. I recommend reading the book rather than just trying to live in the present moment, because many of the questions or issues that come up are solved. In addition to explaining living in the now Eckhart explains how it relates to both the Buddhist and Christian religions. I have been preparing for a job and many interactions with people have been to help with getting a job. He calls this using people as a means to an end. I feel like I have made all this progress towards enlightenment, yet when the test comes I am not ready. I feel angry towards an ex and I have been texting him. A few minutes ago I handed the phone back to it's owner and told her to hide it from me, because I cannot stop. This is not enlightened behavior. Eckhart also talks about illness as a great springboard for enlightenment. I never thought of it that way, but since getting ill I have tried harder to learn these concepts to feel better. I have no one to impress by becoming enlightened, I feel intense emotional pain and want to be free of it. I tried alcohol, it seemed to make it worse. Eckhart talks about this too, all these substances cover up pain for most people so they do not realize they are suffering. I am sober, the second I got sober I felt feelings again and it was intense. It is like taking a rusty nail out of a wound so you can treat it with a bandaid and disinfectant. The rusty nail being alcohol and the bandaid being recovery. I really enjoyed The Power of Now. I have this tendency to get very close to finishing something, then I stop, I hope enlightenment is not like this. I still get angry. I still have schizoaffective disorder. If anyone needs to focus on the now it is me. I feel out of my body and focusing on what is here now or being present brings me back down to earth, instead of worrying about what is in my head. Sometimes I need to take a moment to breathe, look around and realize what is really going on right now. It was nice to read this right after DBT, because it reinforces what I learned about mindfulness. He brings up other topics like the pain body or the classic ego. This is by no means a formal review, I just read it and am sharing thoughts as I might with a friend. It is the kind of book I buy, highlight and read again. I wrote this to remember what I just read better and to share it with others. Thank you for reading!
Oh good, the walls are spinning from a side effect of a medication I take for akathisia, not from schizoaffective disorder. That's a relief.
I was texting Karl again, because I was pissed off about the rumors. In doing so I remembered we had a text conversation. Our text conversations usually wound up the way he wanted it: with sexting. I of course might have said no, but I don't even know if the conversation still exists anywhere. This conversation happened after April 2014 when I started being abstinent or celibate. So I apologize, I may not have been completely abstinent, I may have had a sexting conversation I completely forgot about. Now I feel like a complete fool, because I have been insisting I have been celibate since April 2014. I have been physically celibate, except for hugs and air kisses (which don't count anyway). So I apologize. I know even if Karl had a copy of this conversation it has no date, so I thought maybe I could let it slide without an apology. But why does it matter? I'm celibate for me, not to prove anything to anybody else. It annoys me to be wrong about it over sexting, because I hate sexting. All it ever does is make me feel uncomfortable. I still have over two years of celibacy from physical contact, which is good enough for blood donations. Anyway I am sorry I completely forgot about this conversation over a year ago. I didn't even want to sext if I did, grrr.
I was just looking at the room, medicated and completely sober, and the walls are spinning and sort of shaking. Now it stopped. I feel scared.
I woke up late. Checked in with a job application. Swam during the day when the retired people do, so I had my own lane with little splashing. I focused on swimming properly, getting in multiple proper laps of breast and freestyle strokes. I learned to swim properly not so long ago, so this is an accomplishment. I just finally stopped having to watch other swimmers to make sure I am doing it right. I tried again to stay in the moment, but kept thinking about standing rock and the US election audit. Water moving past, struggling to breathe, and focusing on how my arms move didn't seem to help distract me. The sauna feels amazing in winter, I was sure to visit twice. It was so empty I was alone and could hear the flowing water outside going down the slide in the leisure pool. I closed my eyes for a second and felt completely at peace. Moments of true peace and joy are rare, especially with schizoaffective disorder, so I cherish them. Mom picked me up and we met a family friend for lunch. During lunch our friend noticed what a good mood I was in. If only I could feel this true joy and peace without needing a pass to the rec center. Meditation is supposed to be the way. But hey, it is rare I am in a good mood, I have a mood disorder, my mood is generally bad or worse. I live in fear and depression, hoping anything brings me out of that state of mind if only for a brief moment. Sports seem to do this for me, that, meditation, healthy food and art. It never seems to come from anyone else, I remember Karl tried, he would repeatedly say, "How can I make you happy?" Then he would look at me with this frustrated frown and sigh. I didn't know how to reply, other people never really seem to help much, it has to come from me. Empathic therapists have helped some by listening and giving helpful advice, so maybe it is more complicated than all this. I have now and now is pretty good, it might not be perfect, but it all I have and I am grateful for it.
I had not been to many punk shows, but when Karl invited me I went. I wanted the full experience, but Karl would protect me by being right there with me and fighting people off while I took pictures. So okay, he could be nice on occassion. There is one example. Time to move on and talk about the present. I just meditated, when I finished the urge to write this popped into my head. As a reminder mister, Mr.K and Karl are the same person. Thanks for reading!
Alan Watts talks about many things in You're It, but one idea stuck with me more than most "Egos" encased in "bags of skin". The ego is the self, our self worth or self esteem as a quick internet search defines it. I can be a self absorbed person. I often write these posts first, maybe even several before reading what friends have to say. I have gotten better over the years. On Tumblr I almost exclusively read what others have to say and share it, same with Facebook. I liked to think of myself as a humble kind person, especially when I was younger. The more entries I read and the more I observe myself the more I see the ego for what it is. The first time I learned about the ego was in psychology and when I reviewed it in art theory I was really lost. It seems like a mysterious intellectual concept, but it is basically you and your idea of you. Or in myself, me and the idea of me. A selfish person would have a huge ego, while a selfless person would have a small one. I am still trying to understand the concept of ego and how to tame it. The first step seems to be observing it. I notice how the ego wants to compare itself to others, very dramatically. When I read my friends feed I might start comparing myself to my friends thinking I am better or worse than others, usually my unhealthy ego beats me up and says how terrible I am but other times I look at great art and it says you could do that when I know quite well I cannot right now. Getting out of ego is shutting down all these needs to compare myself, instead relating to what people are saying. Seeing what I can contribute as an equal. Seeing what I can do now and why it is important, rather than judging it as good or bad, better or worse. Contests are great when you are in one or if you challenge yourself to be better than who you were yesterday, but endless competition seems to make me miserable. When I think like this I want to stop blogging, either because I suck or I am too good. Both are ego traps. I keep blogging ultimately to help the person in my same shoes who might benefit from what I rant about. I still have an unhealthy ego, I am aware of it. People have been telling me for years to have more self esteem, usually people who have unbalanced egos themselves with inflated self esteem and it scares me so much I would rather have no self esteem. Okay, so healthy amounts of self esteem are ideal, I have been in counseling long enough to see this is true. Alan Watts talks about becoming a "balanced person". Balancing the good and bad, white and black, or whatever you want to call it. This seems to relate to being an ego in a bag of skin, you don't want too much self esteem nor too little. Just be and let it be good enough. Just write and let it be good enough, don't worry about how perfect it is, make it logical and eloquent, but it doesn't need to be an A English paper. So those are my thoughts on it. I listened to this talk, because I was wandering the library looking for meditation guidence tapes for anxiety. I saw You're It and thought okay why not. I was very depressed at the time and I found myself feeling real joy listening to it. I thought maybe it could help cure my schizoaffective disorder, since all mental illnesses have been said to come from unhealthy egos, but this is only a theory held by a few. I see my ego now for what it is and as you can see from reading my entries I am far from taming this beast. It is like mastering or understanding love, you can't just do it the day you learn about it. Some incredable people can, but most of us cannot. So for today I will sit writing on my oil powered cell phone in my oil powered safe house as people are suffering writing about egos while people are at Standing Rock. Which is another kind of ego driven dilemma, the unhealthy egos of the oil and gas industry executives attached to getting oil at all costs. But of course my insight about Alan Watts is way more important...*sigh*
I am very upset about Standing Rock. I lost track of the keystone pipeline issue only to wake up this week realizing the standing rock protest had been going on since July. I read the Wikipedia page, looked up some phone numbers to call (called them), and thought about going. I was all set about going, until I quickly realized I would be stuck away from home without psych meds. I can take along enough for maybe three weeks, if I am willing to suffer akathsia, moving legs, and other side effects when the side effect meds run out first. If I was hypothetically sprayed with water and my meds were on me and dissolved I would really be at high risk of a crisis. So I donated some stuff they need and am considering donating money. Considering I am unemployed and need every dime I have saved up, I am not sure about donating. I watched a video on why this is so important, then uploaded it to tumblr. It showed how huge this body of water is the natives are protecting. The biggest problem with the pipeline is safety: the pipelines leak and big oil is irresponsible about cleaning it up. If they leak into a major water supply it is a disaster. Yeah a few temporary jobs will be created, but no one can undo the damage. Now they are spraying water on the protesters and lying about why. The cops say the protesters are being "aggressive". But I grew up with a journalist who is up there right now and she caught them lying on video. The cops were threatening to spray the protesters as they were peacefully singing. Of course, I don't like to say much, because people like to discredit what I say as "paranoid" due to my disorder. However, what I am saying is based on fact. There is big money involved in oil, they will rape whatever land they need to to get oil. They will say or do anything to get oil, because oil is worth so much money. They are like addicts who need a fix of oil and they do not care who they hurt or what happens to the earth. They see it as a financial trade off, whatever they spend fighting protesters is just some cold calculated investment in oil, because they can make so much money. The trouble is the ends don't justify the means from an ethical stand point, but they cannot see it. There just has to be another way to sustain our way of life and to make absurd amounts of money. The biggest problem is people get money and power with oil and it is difficult to stop them. The other problem is the earth is a finite resource we need to protect and it too has a priceless value, we cannot sustain life the way we currently live. The other problem is when you try to do something to protect the earth or live a more sustainable life those in power want to stop you. *sigh*
I am trying not to think of the elephants or the wolves, but it seems to be all I can think of. At least if I abstract them to wolves and elephants it is entertaining, even if it is a bit cliche. It is all I want to write about, blog about, or think about and whenever I do I feel upset. It might be fun for you to figure out what I mean by elephants and wolves, based on what I blog about. Since this is not a zoology blog you know it is not literal. I laughed when I thought about it this way, stop thinking about the wolves and the elephants. This is why I focus on breaths or a mantra when I meditate, because focusing on not thinking about something leads to thinking about it like elephants or wolves. I have noticed lately a shift from feeling like a victim to noticing my flaws, not just feeling like a bad person, but noticing real flaws. It is hard to see my shadow and accept her. I read old entries and I notice the dark side. I remember moments when I was unkind, too angry, or careless. Now I can be aware of my actions and act in a kind way. This has no relation to the elephant or wolves, just something else on my mind. I don't want to see myself as bad, but at some point I wanted to be cool so bad I did not care, so this is my karma. I have now to be a more balanced person.