How To Debone A FISH


Imagine taking a serrated knife and slicing the length of a body right down to the soul. Picture a piece of that fresh fish, covered in the juice of two fresh lemons that you need to debone, carefully and delicately. That slow slicing is, in itself, is a work of art. It is also a technique that happens in your mind. Your mind is calm and steady.

I have tried so hard to get rid of pretension, most of the defense mechanisms, all the external comments, the noise, the insensitive remarks. I don’t need them in my life, nor do you. We need balance, clear thoughts, not the mean chatter of other “so-called friends.” They do more harm than good. Stay away from people who do not serve you well, sever relationships with false people, those that tempt you to behave badly.

Don’t go down to anyone else’s level. Raise yourself up. Have high standards for yourself, try not to judge others but accept them. All of us need to take a break in our hurried lives. You don’t have to go anywhere to do that, not an expensive gym or retreat, you don’t need an airplane ticket or a ride on a white, bulbous sailboat.

Center yourself, wherever you feel most comfortable.

Pick a place where you won’t be disturbed. It can be on your bed or your favorite chair, someplace that speaks silence to you. If you want soft background music, fine. More importantly, this can be in your mind. Simply close your eyes. Concentrate.

 

Feel your breath going in, going out. Maybe it won’t feel natural in the beginning, that is perfectly okay. What is perfect on the first try? Try to get in a pattern of breathing slowly, inhaling and exhaling. If external thoughts race in, accept them, don’t try to push them away, they are part of you. Let them appear, and let them go away while you go back to your steady breathing, your rhythmic breathing..

Once I feel that I am completely relaxed sometimes I find myself  rocking in that place, sometimes I feel so tired that I want to sleep, I have nodded off when practicing this in a class.   Spend time outdoors, watching nature, listening to sounds, bird songs, children laughing, notice the color of the bunny’s tail you see on your green grass, the noisy seagull on the beach hovering over your leftover cheese sandwich.

 

Focus on beauty and not disaster. Be grateful for what you do have and do not focus on what you don’t have. Believe me, I know that sometimes that it is difficult. Do it anyway. Go out of your way to be kind to a stranger, or wave to a baby that is fussing in front of you. Be aware of how your face looks, does it match how you feel?

Live a simple life, every day. Stay in the present. Relish your age, get old gracefully, stop worrying about what anyone else thinks. Your happiness will glow and shine through you. Look deep inside you. Love what you see? Tell people you are grateful for them being in your life. Dance with joy.

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FWF, Kellie Elmore- Image Prompt

Image Credit: We Heart It

The” haunted house” has always been in my neighborhood. When we were little we stayed away from it. When I became a teenager and my little sister, Dani, would annoy me I would tell her the ghosts from the haunted house would fly in our windows and take her if she wasn’t asleep. I thought it was funny, you know one of those older sister “things.”

When I was 15 I claimed that neglected house as my own. Eventually it became our crack house,but for the first few months it was our hang out. We’d go there every day, cutting Senior year’s “internship” program. We had a tight circle of five or six friends. We all brought drugs, I stole pills from my mother’s medicine cabinet, there was alcohol, weed, all of us brought food, Benny and Steve always had heroin, my best friend Jenny brought cocaine and chocolate chip cookies.

My parents had no idea of who I had become. All they did was fight with each other. It was pathetic how easy lying was. If you wanted to change your life, it was so simple.  Assholes. They didn’t even pay attention. My little sister played in her room, alone. She barely came out.

One night, at dinner, the tension between my parents was especially bad, thick like the humid rain forests, we had to study. Hard to breathe. I saw my  7-year-old sister sucking her thumb which she hadn’t done since she was 3. I was fed-up with their non-stop bickering but when I tried to say something both my parents would tersely say “not now Tess.”

I pushed my chair back from the table and left, telling them I had study group and they didn’t even question me about what class or where I was going, so I left. I headed to my real home, the crack house where I knew my friends were.


I sat on the floor next to Danny he lit up a joint and we shared a few beers. It felt so good. I tried to forget about mom and dad but it was hard. Danny said there was one thing that would help me forget all about it as we giggled together and he nuzzled into me and whispered in my ear “I have something special just for you.” He laughed and said “Baby. I promise you, it is the biggest high you will ever have, all your silly problems will melt away in a minute.” He showed me the heroin and the idea of escaping my miserable world was so tempting.”Since it’s your first time, I’ll even stay with you if you want.”

We kissed and I whispered “okay” in his ear. He looked so happy that I let him inject the heroin into my vein. First, from what I can remember, I felt amazing, lots of colors and sounds, I had no idea where I was but it was better than any place I had seen. I remember dancing to the music alone, smiling a lot.

Later on, I got paranoid and scared. I just remember screaming so loudly in my ear. Everywhere people were screaming and I couldn’t take all that noise, I cried from the pain, covered my ears with my hands but it did not go away. Hours later there was nobody left and the screaming remained. Apparently the screaming came from me.

I don’t know what happened after that, someone must have called the police because I just remember an ambulance coming and strapping me down. I screamed when I saw both my parents waiting at the hospital, holding hands? The nurse gave me a shot. I felt  asleep in seconds.

When I awakened I pretty much just felt stupid, only realizing then that my problems had just begun.I saw a glimpse of my little sister hiding behind the curtains. I tried to smile but she did not want anything to do with me. I didn’t blame her.

I really was sorry, I guess we all were. My parents decided we would all go to family therapy and they would go to couples counseling. I lived back at home and my relationship with my little sister got better, sometimes I even played with her in her room. The crack house had been gutted and cleared.

I was happy to see it go. More than happy.

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Carry on Tuesday: When all is said and done

Let's Talk About Feelings

Let’s Talk About Feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Zoe’s Journal:

I need to find forgiveness in my heart. I know that’s the right thing to do; I just don’t know how to do it. How do you forgive people whose bond with you should be so natural, so instinctive? I don’t have the answers but I am trying to find them. I am trying to find them so that we can all live in peace. I think the psychologists call it “individuating;” when you separate from your parents and become your own person; believe me I don’t think my parents would call it the same thing.

I just want to protect myself from the past, I was strong enough now to be my own person and not take any of their old shit. I had figured out the dangerous mind games and I wanted no part of it. I had always been strong inside, my parents knew that about me, they were proud of that, until it seemed like I turned on them. I hadn’t; I just stopped putting up with all the bullshit. They couldn’t handle it. The more they tried to guilt me, the more I pushed back. They would immediately go to the speech where they were “all alone in the world” without their “only daughter.” I would be empathic but I would not cry and apologize and they missed that; they missed the part of me that they could hurt. Wound. Destroy. I don’t think any of it was intentional, well, of course some of it was. After they spewed a nasty string of malevolence they would not remember a word of what they said! How could they not remember what they had just said?  I was labeled “too sensitive.”

It took me a long time to understand the game they played, unwittingly, but I swore I would never fight with them again. Since they couldn’t express any feelings at the time they would hold something against me for weeks. Eventually, one day there would be a vitriolic, icy cold lecture of how I had changed. I would figure it out in time but it left me stunned, still hurt. However, I did not offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb; that was no longer my duty, those days were over.

When all was is said and done, what they really needed was attention, to feel wanted and needed and not dismissed. It was quite simple once I figured it out and I was more than willing to give it to both of them, on my terms. Once I did, they became nicer, happy for the attention and we seemed to get along better.

Sometimes, the things people say are irrelevant, I guess you need to go deeper and see what they are feeling. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like I do. As I have said before, words don’t count, actions do. Since we were talking about forgiveness  there is another very important person I need to forgive.  Me. I need to forgive myself for all the grudges I have held, for all the hurt I have carried, for the blame I have caused and for all the tears I have shed. I was just a child, an abandoned child. I know I will never forget but I need to forgive myself and let go of the pain because true forgiveness really means setting our souls free, the greatest gift you can give yourself. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Carry On Tuesday: When As A Child I Laughed And Wept

Little Girl Feet

Little Girl Feet (Photo credit: mtsofan)

As a child I laughed and wept, but nobody heard me. I lived in my own world of stuffed animals and dolls and they were my friends. Once, when I was about five years old, my mother, from another room, asked me who I was talking to, I replied ” my friend.” There was not another child in the house.

My mother said I “could always occupy myself” unlike my older sister who always had to be entertained. “Play with me” she would whine to our mother and so my mother would play with her. Was it out of default that I didn’t even try or was I really happy in my own little world? I can’t say for sure but I think it was a combination of both. I’d wager a guess that I was never big on competing,  sure I would fail. My confidence level was always low; a loving gift from my mother. I knew she never meant to give me low expectations but her fear and worry overwhelmed her and so she thought she was protecting me when in fact she was holding me back, making stress and anxiety my constant companions.

At night, every night, my father would sit at my bedside and I would ask him the same series of questions. Would anyone go to the hospital? Would there be a fire? Would the birds come? (We had bats once) Will the boys come (My sister once had rowdy boys come on Halloween, banging on the door relentlessly and I was terrified) and a few more I don’t remember anymore. It was a ritual, a scared girl, needing momentary comfort every night, while the orange light from the hall beamed.

When I was told that my mother had to go to the hospital for a hysterectomy I remember sobbing that night when I asked my father the questions. I told him that the answer to the hospital question would be “yes” and I was inconsolable. The order of the routine was changed, the answer to one of the danger questions was wrong and I was filled with fear and doubt.

I never wanted to try anything new, I was scared and I always made excuses to get out of doing new things, fear held me in it’s vise-like grip until I could only choke-out syllables of lies. It was a long time before I could be honest and the first time I was honest was with my sister, on the telephone and it was such a relief. She told me step by step what to do and how to get to her house by subway and I got there, for the first time in many years feeling brave. What gave me the strength to tell her then, with my mother on the other line, I have no idea. Maybe I was just sick of being sick and holding all my fear inside me.

Eventually, I became more and more honest with people, telling them my fears or my utter lack of sense of direction. I felt safer in the world by becoming stronger as a person. It was okay to have shortcomings because apparently everybody did; I wasn’t the only person that was weak, everyone was weak in some way, I just didn’t know it. Now, I consider myself a very strong person, realizing my strengths way before my weaknesses and yet having weaknesses made me sensitive to others and to how they feel. I can read someone’s feelings just by looking at their face, I can see what someone is feeling instinctively, whether they are ready to acknowledge it or not.

I get messages from the deceased, I have a sixth sense, I knew that when I was in third grade, learning it as I walked down a street in my home town. My parents always called me “over-sensitive” as if I were to blame for feeling hurt, the truth of the matter was yes, I was sensitive, but looking back, they were not.

In a Former Life

Woof, Woof

oh happy dog…

There’s no doubt about it. Woof. I would have been a dog. I will be a dog again. Not only do I like attention but I like giving attention and making humans happy. I’m very loyal and I DON’T have attitude ( like those cats do.) Nope, dogs love people to pieces, we will follow you, lick you, give you kisses and stare at you for food. Just one thing, do not ever betray us. Do not ever hit us, or be mean to us…we don’t like that and it is not in the Dog Code Of Honor. We like those in the “Dog Lover’s Unite” program. I would like to come back as a happy dog with a loving, indulgent family preferably with kids. I want them to get me as a puppy, if possible, and I want to grow up with them and I want them to grow up with me. I will protect them, love them and keep them in my heart forever. That’s what dogs do, it’s what we love to do. Really.

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Customer Service Winners and Losers

Nordstrom at Washington Square (Oregon)

Image via Wikipedia

You Get What You Pay For?

This is a SNAP! Hands down, best customer service goes to Nordstrom’s which is a bit of a shame because they are so expensive I never get to shop there. Worst? a tie between Kohl’s and Target, for lack of anything to do about customer service. It seems that employees seems to disappear when I shop at Kohl’s or Target. I know it’s a hard job to work for either of those companies but stop being so grumpy!! All you need is a smile, go to Nordstrom’s and learn their tips.

p.s. @Nordstrom: those sailboat shirts for men are to die for!

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My Boredom Cures

This photo of a rural child was photographed b...

Image via Wikipedia

Books, Movies, TV, Blogging, Music, Writing, Computer, Books…..Still bored after all those options? Get a grip! I’m generally not bored, and I’m generally not fussy. I’ve always been able to occupy my “alone” time. In childhood, our mom said I was happy to play in my room all by myself but that my older sister needed to be entertained all the time. I see that with my own children now: my oldest child needs to be entertained and my second born is more content and doesn’t mind alone time (though she probably wouldn’t admit to it). Maybe it has to do with birth order.  The first-born child does get undivided attention, where us second born (or babies) have never known anything else except sharing. We’ve never had undivided attention. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism or just maybe we are more content. Or it’s simply a personality issue. Alone time, to me, doesn’t mean I’m bored, it means I’m comfortable with myself.

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