Facing December

baby-536412_640

Hello December, bring it on! This should be my favorite time of the year – after all there’s great anticipation almost every week – my birthday, Christmas, and a brand new year hovering on the horizon, but this month feels like it’s fixing to beat the crap out of me. Like me, for many of you, this is a tough month. We have to deal with the pressure of performance, expectations, lost loved ones, being far away from home and sagging under the weight of the entire year resting on our shoulders.

The truth be told. Lately, I haven’t been a first-rate version of myself but instead of wallowing in self-pity and rehashing the  disappointments for the goals that slipped through the cracks of  poor-timing, paralyzing fear and just plain, unflavored indolence, I’m going to love myself a little more this month, just because my hypothalamus still works. It secreted enough acetylcholine to wake me up and boy – where there’s life, there’s hope!
I am facing this December head on.

Every morning this month, before self-damning thoughts assail my brain, I’m adopting the life-changing mirror ritual by Dr. Christiane Northrup – I’ll be kind to my soul.

I’ll reach out with understanding to my broken heart over the dreams that crashed and burned this year. I’ll pat my laugh lines and double chin tenderly, smooth over my crow’s feet and the furrows on my brow. When my eyes mist over, I’ll remember there’s a still river inside me and let it overflow its bounds. I will stand in awe of all God created in me. Then I will whisper, so only I can hear, “I love you.” over and over again. Till I believe with all my heart and mind and soul, that this gimper staring back at me will be okay.

Happy Days Ahead!

http://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=57402

Advertisements
https://pixabay.com/en/sand-sculpture-monkey-selfi-gorilla-774467/

Selfies, Fleshly Cuffs – Much Ado About IT

https://pixabay.com/en/sand-sculpture-monkey-selfi-gorilla-774467/

Credit: Pixabay Images

This is the way a certain man’s *story ends:
He had John beheaded in the dungeon. And John’s head, ratty with matted dreadlocks and a thick, scruffy beard, was placed on a gleaming silver platter and given to the girl, who served it to her mother, Herodias. Then his followers came, took away the decapitated body and buried it…
The it stopped me cold. Why didn’t the story say buried him?

In our self-obsessed culture, we tend to place people with the It-Factor on ivory pedestals, gawk at their sculptured (airbrushed) perfection in glossy prints and agree that they are entitled to a form of rarefied air and lifestyle. Somehow the image, this physical part of us has become our highest hope. We obsess about body image, contour, nip and tuck our angles and curves. In this selfie-crazed world, what chance does the soul, the spirit have to thrive?

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” Luke 12:4

I live in LA, the most cynical city in the world and as Andy Warhol’s  Interview Magazine promotes their “The #ME Issue” an issue dedicated to the art of the celebrity selfie featuring eight covers profiling the “Instagang” – Victoria Beckham, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Mert Alas, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Zayn Malik et al., I wonder if there’s a place for higher-level introspection, for God, for selflessness in our dizzy urban kaleidoscope.

Really??!

Really?!

It sucks, but at some point, everyone’s story will come to an end. What’s left behind becomes it and lest the decaying, decomposing carcass constitute a health hazard, it is buried in the original organic matter to bond with grave robbers, maggots and critters. For some, their real essence, (the genderless soul) will be shocked to find that beyond our fleshy cuffs, this shell of flesh, this body of death, what you look like doesn’t matter after all.

Neither does what you do or who you are. The most important attribute is who you believed in. Here’s wishing us all a selfless life and a happy ending.

*story @ Matthew 14 (paraphrased)

Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions

Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Cards – Life Lessons and More

Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions

Never say never while you can still breathe. Don’t give up on a dream that still wants to live. I might be late on this bandwagon but sometime last year, I paused my DVR after an episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS, like millions have done over the years to read  Chuck Lorre’s Vanity card #463. The last one. He succinctly explained, “It’s time to write the last vanity card. Which is what this is…All things that never should have happened in the first place must come to an end. Don’t cry for me Argentina. Or West Covina.”

I was sad…OK, a tad depressed. “What? After 18 years why stop now?”

For those living in a cult or under a rock, the unique vanity cards for Chuck Lorre Productions have become a “trademark” appearing at the end of nearly every episode of his acclaimed productions like Grace under Fire, Cybill, Two and A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Mike & Molly and many others. They are usually editorial snippets, personal musings or random observations.

I considered launching a virtual protest march demanding that we, the viewing and more importantly, the reading public,  not be starved of the non-literary gastronomical delight of peering into Chuck Lorre’s brain. Then it occurred to me – Nah… maybe without this little distraction he could have more time. Time to volunteer at a nearby shelter, become a crossing guard at any school of his choosing, you know, do something more wholesome.

So, imagine my surprise at reading  Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Card #464 after the next episode. It was a short, terse card, written by a clearly pained Chuck who realized that nobody cared enough to protest or beg him to re-consider. All he got were a few, nonchalant “literary shrugs” that didn’t cross the ear threshold. Yes, the world would still spin on its awkward axis, pigeons will still desecrate hallowed Hollywood Boulevard where knock-off stars have obstinately ( I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence) refused to twinkle, and people were far more interested in a YouTube video of a child falling asleep after 14 strokes of soft tissue paper over his cherub face. Yep! Nobody really cared.

Credit: EmmyTVLegends.orgBut I did. It would be sad to see these “self-congratulatory snippets of a mind, screaming for attention” end. They are at least are better than the deplorable selfies assaulting our  virtual spaces, (No thanks to the inventor of the selfie stick.) even as I wholehearted agree that Chuck’s Official Vanity Card Archives are nothing short of a “Herculean attempt at curating a set of pointlessly unique, haunting, very painful, also petty, most times personal thoughts.” (All quotations are his words)

Well, if I piqued your interest, you would be very pleased to know that at this time of writing, there’s Vanity Card #500 and I hope counting. For one, I am glad. Sometimes like Chuck Lorre, we have to pause and reflect on anything we’ve been doing maybe, mindlessly for a while –  like a marriage, a friendship, a job or the attempt to immortalize oneself (a.k.a. blogging) and ask yourself:

  • Does it matter?
  • Do I matter?
  • Will anyone even miss me if I stop?
  • Why? For sanity’s sake, why am I doing this?
  • How does this promote world peace (*_*) ?

Question everything. That’s what makes us human, but never say never or give up on something or someone you love. Don’t walk away if it still wants to live. Let it.
The 2.0 version might be refreshingly more meaningful, wiser as it matures just as Lorre’s post-463 vanity cards have become. Curious? Check out card  #482 , my new favorite.

Image Credits: ChuckLorre.com & Google Images.

Waiters, Seasons and Unexpected Tranquility

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

Here’s a thought, dreaming takes no effort.
Anyone can plop their heads on a pillow at night and dream without a license. No-one should begrudge your precious bucket-list and if people close to you do, lose them as friends. When we are awake and basking in the sun, (assuming you live in California) or lost on a dirt road, we wait. We wait for Fridays to feel giddy about our week, we wait for payday, we wait while a seed grows for nine months then birth a child who never outgrows our care.

For love, we wait for prince charming, I did. I got one with a lopsided smile that arrests my heart.
Boys wait too. Wondering, will I find the one? Will she open up to me, curl up to me in her sleep? Will she love me the same when I’m down?
We anticipate seasons (except tax season) and the magic we project on each one. In and out of season, we can seek happiness, meaning and find ways to serve. Most can’t wait to retire, but fear death. Sometimes we don’t even know what we are holding out for. We just know there’s “something more…”

The worst kind is waiting to be happy. Waiters serve.

I have realized that the real out-of-body-experience isn’t meeting a celebrity, or getting that sale or recognition but the tangible, wild, pulsating joy of volunteering and giving of myself. It is truly more satisfying to give than to receive. I’m grateful to TCOTW for letting me give.

What determines our quality of life? Per capita income? Even in developing countries, lives are drastically changed when people stop waiting to be served and get busy with life.
Immortality is wired in our hearts. Forever is a really long time to spend regretting not making a mark. We are deeply terrified of being forgotten. So with peace we’ll serve. On the way to our dreams, we’ll serve. Happy is always lurking at the corner of our lips.

If all we do is dream, like those fleeting visions…we will be forgotten.

 

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

Unexpected Tranquility by Wendell Berry

I come into the peace of wild things,
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief
I come to the presence of still water
And I feel above me the day – blind stars waiting their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world
and am free.
 

PS: I am becoming a big fan of Wendell Berry.  He is 80 years…still waiting and serving.

I Choose You Again – My Wild, My Rose

I Chose You Again, My wild, My rose

Credit: Google Images

Are you camp “Old Fashioned” or “Fifty Shades of Grey”? This valentine we reflect on why we chose or love or hurt the one we are with. Pain is inevitable in love but not pain in self-depreciating shades. We forgive the edges in well-deployed words and actions that rip into old wounds, choosing to return to wild, breathless passion. Love can be traumatic, so trust has to be implicit.

Trust that beneath the flares, your love is still wild about you. Which is why I am firmly in camp Old-Fashioned. The movie reminds us that love is patient, because we all fall flat on our faces. As the trailer says, “Love is about a girl and a boy looking for something more.” Is something more – bondage, whips, handcuffs and games? Who needs sexual fantasies about hurting and disrespecting each other? Love is not always pretty – that’s life but we are basically old-fashioned and frayed along the edges. Our hearts need safe place, a home – picket fence and all.

Trust is a phenomenal aphrodisiac. Romance is worth its weight in red rose bouquets and it takes a good girl or boy to blow your mind. (Thanks Jessie J.)  This day, I choose love – old-fashioned, familiar but wild.

I chose you wild rose

Credit: Pixabay Images

“The Wild Rose” by Wendell Berry

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,

Suddenly you flare in my sight
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,

and once again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.