September 18, 2012 at 9:05 AM (Life, Relationships, Writing)
Tags: Big, communication, DPChallenge, email, friends, Independent, Life, Love, quest for knowledge, Relationships, Second Chances, therapy, Writing
I am taking part in a writing challenge from WordPress’ Daily Post. The challenge is to use the Post via Email tool and to write the post as if you are writing an actual email. So I decided I would write to you, my former self–a young woman who always hid behind the written word.
As your future self, I want to warn you of your habits of expressing yourself only through writing. You have this bad habit of holding in your real feelings until you explode through a written, verbal regurgitation that tends to make matters worse. I understand your fears. You are afraid of rejection and getting hurt. But the problem with email is that you don’t know if the other person even read your heartfelt diatribe, if they interpreted it with its true meanings and feelings (teasing and flirting doesn’t always come across in email), and you will never know how they feel if they decide not to respond. With verbal communication, yes, it is scary but at least you get responses right away, ending the "what is he thinking" loop that plays in your head. And no matter how scared you are to express yourself live (or even in-person), always remind yourself that what is the worse that can happen–you will lose something you never even had?
You started this habit of expressing yourself, especially in matters of the heart, at a young age. You used to write notes to the guys you cared for in Middle School and High School but then with the addition of email in college, your bad habit soared. In college, with Big, you used email to tell him how you felt. Then the one time you stored up enough courage to tell him in person what you wanted, he gave you what you thought was a rejection–thus causing you to further hone your written communication skills.
You are a writer. You have a college degree in the subject to prove it. It should be a skill, not a crutch. One in-person rejection (your interpretation, not his) and another one on the phone and you developed what Big would probably call "long ass email" syndrome.
This is going to be a very hard habit for you to break. Through therapy, meditation, and a lot of soul-searching, you are going to do your best to get over your fears. But your daily interactions with teenagers who conduct the majority of their communications through technology–texting, tweeting, Instagram and the like–is going to make this one of the most difficult challenges of your life. But remember, you are from a different generation. A generation where your parents made you get your own phone line so you could talk to your friends for hours. Go back to your roots and work on your Verbal communication skills (and do your very best to convince your teenagers to do the same). Stop using your pen (or keyboard) as a sword, a weapon to fight off your fear demons, and do your part to help stop a future of tech zombies who would rather text the person sitting on the other side of the table instead of having an actual conversation with them. Remember, the benefits of an actual verbal conversation is instant feedback and responses. I mean isn’t that why you go to "talk" therapy? This will improve our future–and end all the misunderstandings that have occurred via email.
Luv, Kel (your present and future self)
June 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM (Life)
Tags: Acupuncture, Dawna Ara, Healing, Health, Life, Massage, Pain, quest for knowledge, therapy
OK, yesterday I decided to try something new. After my accident last month, I am still in a lot of pain. My friend in Idaho suggested acupuncture and massage. So I went to Yelp and read all the reviews on acupuncture centers in the area. I found Dawna Ara. Yesterday was my first appointment and let’s just say that it won’t be my last.
I was a little nervous about the whole experience. I’m not a fan of needles. But since several of my friends and my therapist (all whom I trust) swear by it, I figured it couldn’t really hurt to try–or could it? So I arrived early, mainly due to my nerves and my OCD about never being late, and Dawna greeted me when I walked in. The great thing about Dawna’s practice is that you can make your appointments from her website and download all the paperwork so you don’t have to spend most of your time at the appointment trying to figure everything out. Dawna sat down with me to talk about what was going on and things I had mentioned in her questionnaire. She had me stand up and she instantly found my “trouble” spot on my neck. She explained everything to me. She told me it would be best to start with the acupuncture and then a light massage.
Surprisingly, the acupuncture needles didn’t hurt. It tickled a bit when they went in but I barely felt them. Dawna had me lay there for 25 minutes–she came in to check on me from time to time. While lying there, I could start to feel my muscles relax. My trouble spot start to feel better. It wasn’t anything dramatic but I could definitely feel things change the longer I laid there.
Once the 25 minutes passed, Dawna came in, removed the needles (which didn’t hurt at all), and gave me a light 5 minute massage with some sort of cooling cream. I reminded me of the Biofreeze my dad uses. Then my session was over. Dawna told me what I should expect over the next few hours and days. She gave me some herbal pain therapy patches to apply to my “trouble” spot over the next five days. On my way out, I felt so calm and relaxed that I wanted to call everyone I knew and tell them to try acupuncture.
Now there are some side effects that didn’t hit me until later. Once I got home and relaxed a little more, I felt lightheaded and very tired. Since the accident, I haven’t been able to really sleep because of the neck and back pain. But while I was laying on my couch, trying to watch the new Sherlock Holmes movie, I fell asleep. I woke up around midnight and realized where I was. I managed to muster up enough energy to turn off the TV and make my way into my bedroom where I collapsed on my bed, comfortably sleeping until my alarm went off that morning. So I guess finally getting a good night’s sleep isn’t a bad side effect to have to endure.
April 7, 2012 at 8:48 PM (Astrology, Life, Relationships, Spirituality, Universe)
Tags: astrology, Buddhism, Dreams, Family, Fate, friends, Home, Independent, Libra, Life, Love, Moon, Pagan, quest for knowledge, Relationships, Spirituality, Stress Relief, therapy, Universe
Last night’s full moon was the Libra moon, a time to strive for peace and harmony. As a Libra myself, I found last night’s moon mesmerizing. There was just a little bit of haze in the Southern California sky that created a halo around the moon. It was absolutely beautiful. I tried my best to capture the moment but a camera can only do so much.
In Asian cultures, this full moon is known as the peaceful Crane Moon. One should fold 1,000 origami cranes and their dreams will come true. For many, they dream of peace and harmony. In Japan, the crane is one of their mystical creatures, like dragons, that are said to live for a thousand years. So when you make 1,000 origami cranes and string them together, the crane will grant you a wish, such as long life or recovery from illness. This is traditionally given to special friends or family members, often on their wedding day representing a wish for a long happy marriage. I once worked with a guy when I lived in Florida who spent a month making 1,000 paper cranes for his girlfriend, which he presented to her on her birthday when he proposed marriage. She said yes so I guess he got his wish.
Either way, the crane is supposed to bring health and happiness, peace and harmony–just like the Libra scales. I didn’t have time to make 1,000 paper cranes last night (I do have Tibetan prayers flags hanging all over my house, does that count?) But I did read about a Druid peace prayer and ritual that could be done instead of making 1,000 paper cranes on this full moon. Here is what you do:
“Draw a rough outline of a crane in salt on a plate, pouring into the salt all your beliefs about finding inner peace or witnessing world peace. Allow the salt’s bitterness to soak up your fears and doubts. Pour the salt into a bowl of water. As you watch those beliefs and emotions dissolve, recite the Druid’s Peace Prayer: Deep within the still center of my being, may I find peace. Silently within the quiet of the Grove, may I share peace. Gently and powerfully, within the greater circle of mankind, may I radiate peace.” ~Kristin Madden, Llewellyn’s Witches Datebook 2012.
Personally, I like to take a long hot bath during the Full Moon–a literal cleansing to coincide with a spiritual one. Then I like to go outside with a hot cup of tea, and stare up at the stars. This is my own personal version of a Full Moon Meditation. I do this on every full moon. But like I said before, I am a Libra. I am always in search of peace and harmony.
And in that spirit, I would suggest that one should try to make peace with their past (or a troubled relationship/friendship) in order to feel a sense of inner peace. Use this as a time to let go–think of it as a form of Spring Cleaning.
March 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM (Life, Writing)
Tags: cleaning, Family, grading, Independent, Life, procrastinating, quest for knowledge, Stress Relief, therapy, Writing
This weekend my mother is coming to visit and our grades are due next week. All week, I told myself I would finish grading my classes’ projects. But here it is, Thursday and I haven’t graded anything.
However, I did manage to reorganize my basement. I moved bookshelves from one room to another. I reorganized what books and magazines go in which room. I organized my DVDs by classic movies, Johnny Depp Movies, All other Movies and TV shows. Then I proceeded to alphabetize each group. I organized my photo magazines by year and month. I put my shoes inside individual clear boxes and labeled them. I rearranged the furniture in my office. I made and then hung curtains in the office. I finally put up the pictures and posters on the walls in my office. And I vacuumed the office.
So I got a lot accomplished around the house but I didn’t actually do what I was supposed to do. So was I really being productive or was I productively procrastinating?
March 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM (Family, Life, Photography, Relationships, Spirituality)
Tags: Family, friends, Home, Independent, Life, quest for knowledge, Relationships, Spirituality, therapy
Last year at my California Sister’s son’s birthday party, I had the sense of being “alone in a crowd.” I was the only single person in the land of families and couples. I felt like the odd person out. I think I was still in mourning of the loss of a possible relationship with a man I truly cared about. But I wound up leaving the party early to go be alone and depressed (a phrase I now loathe).
So this year, at the birthday party, I was a little weary that I would feel the same way. I was preparing myself for that “completely and utterly alone” feeling when you are surrounded by people. But that emotional state never entered into my world this year.
Instead, I felt like I was with family. I knew everyone there. Everyone talked about the photos I took last year and they all tried to replicate one of the classic shots–where an FBI agent shot a marshmallow right into my lens. (This year we used nerf darts for easier clean up). I was still the only single person there but I didn’t feel like the odd man out. Instead, I felt like the cool honorary Aunt. I felt at home with my extended family.
I guess I am finally at the point where I am OK with the fact that I am not married and I don’t have any kids. Actually, after spending an entire day with 9 year-olds, I am very glad I don’t have kids. The great thing about being an honorary aunt is that you can play with them and spoil them but when they start to get crabby, you get to go home. I find my kitties are much easier to deal with. I am content with my life. I consider this progress in my life growth process.