life

Holiday Lip Service

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It’s funny this time of year how people profess wishes for Peace on Earth, Joy to the World, and Love thy Neighbor and “There but for the Grace of God go I.”  Yet when push comes to shove, for many people all those sentiments seem to fly out the window without a shred of shame.

I, like the next person, falls into the trap of getting all caught up in my own life, and trying to get by and navigate some extremely tough terrain.  But I don’t have it that bad.  Uncomfortable, awkward, stressful, sure, but no one is trying to assault me, silence me (I take that back SOPA)  or kill me.  But I have been witnessing way too many things that I find so disturbing. I have to speak my mind.

When people cheered and applaud the record number of executions in Texas, I really wonder what has happened to people?  It made my stomach turn.  I lived in Texas.   Most people there are Christians.  Is that part of their belief system? To kill? Sister Helen Prejean would peacefully disagree.

And whether you agree or not with OWS – For centuries our soldiers have fought, been crippled, killed and tortured while fighting  to protect  the freedoms and rights of Americans to assemble peacefully and express their concerns. Young college students who were educated that peaceful demonstration was a civil right in America, were pepper-sprayed close range as if they were cockroaches.  And that’s okay?

homeless family lives in car - click photo for story

Gingrich says to OWS: ” Go get a job right after you take a bath” and the crowd enthusiastically applauds.  Last time I checked unemployment was one of the major problems in our economy.  Taking a bath gets you a job?  Does taking a bath and getting a job take corporate money out of politics?  Does it remedy the foreclosure crises that is killing entire neighborhoods? Does it fix the healthcare cluster-f*ck?  No it doesn’t.

On a main street scale; look at behavior on Black Friday. I mean seriously, how can anyone think Americans are a people with any character, dignity or integrity? Add in the ongoing of reports of adults at children’s sporting events getting into fist fights?  I’ll never forget the father who was beaten to death on the ice in front of his family at a children’s hockey game.  Let’s also remember the child predators who were free to abuse over and over again – or the many people over the years who turned a blind eye to the sexual assaults on vulnerable children.

And PLEASE watch this video about bullying in our towns and schools.

The unbelievable decline of civility and basic decency in our society is chilling.

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Everyone struggles.

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I woke early, did yoga, froze at the dog park and then made my way to the office.  The picture below is what I did when I first got to the office today.   I am sending it to my son in Boston, who won’t be home on Turkey day.  I hope think it will make him laugh happy.

Note to my son.

Then I ate lunch.  Well not really, because I graze.  I eat a little for a while then stop.  Today it was the veggie burrito bowl, without the slimy vegetables.  A meatless dip of sorts;  black beans, guacamole, rice, lettuce, a little white cheese, hot salsa  and chips.  Yum.

It’s good (most of the time) to be your own boss.   I get my work done when I know it has to be completed.  Sometimes I work really long hours, other times I have the luxury to do as I please.  Today is one of those days.

Earlier while at the dog park this chilly morning I had the pleasure of speaking to a woman whose husband is an investment banker.  She explained to me how tough the economy has been on his investment firm and how that they personally have had to cut back on their vacations.  She let me know they lived in the most expensive neighborhood in my town.  It was nice to hear this point of view.

I toyed with the idea of telling her that actually we lost our home and were living in my mother’s house, but I think that may have made her feel like a total jerk.  So I just listened.  She went on to tell me that she hoped that her children would learn something from their hardship.  Their “hardship” being that they weren’t going on as many vacation this year as in past years.  Her kids are 8, 10, and 13.

Bora Bora

On Wednesday morning at the dog park, I spoke to a young man who just left the Marines.  For some reason, I was very nosy.  I kept asking him questions.  I wanted to know what it was like, what he did there, how it effected him, and how he was adjusting back in the states.  I apologized and told him, “I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to interrogate you, like this is any of my business.”  He responded, ” No, really it’s okay, talking to people like this really helps.”

He was a sharp shooter.  He told me that every single day he would see suicide bombings, mostly children blowing themselves up, because, he said, “they believe in Allah.”   He told me that news never reaches the states, and there’s so much more.  He also told me about getting shot from friendly fire.  It was a bullet  from a  .50 Browning machine gun.  He went on to explain all about the BrowningMG and its bullet size.  Then promptly he dropped the topic of his injury.

Far left .50 Browning machine gun bullet

So I met two new friends.  I was open to both of them.  Their stories enriched my life in some manner.  I can feel judgement is trying to find it’s way into my head, but I am not going to let it in.  I am not going to try to figure out anything I heard, anymore than my either of my dogs would try to figure it out.

I played at the park with people who were there.  And those moments are gone.  Only now exists.

And right now, I am thankful, very very thankful.

Happy Friday.

Tip: Listen and learn, try to leave judgement out of the equation.

Inspiration: “The biggest mental roadblocks that you will ever have to overcome are those represented by your self-limiting beliefs.”~ Brian Tracy

One-day one-thing: Sort your linens, some towels are ready to become rags.

My Elevens

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I, like many other people find themselves always seeing a digital clock that says 11:11.  It’s uncanny for me. It can happen when a clock isn’t even set to the proper time.  Sh*t happens in my life and then I look at the clock and say, “Guess what time it is? 11:11 again.”  This doesn’t happen to anyone else in my immediate family, just me.

Today is the grand day 11:11:11, and I was told to go buy 11 lottery tickets or something to that effect.  I don’t know, the way my luck has gone recently I am not sure I even want to do that.

This is what I know for sure.  My greatest luck steams from my greatest love, my Husband.  When we got married, we didn’t know if we would ever be able to have children.   I vividly remember stopping for a margarita, and tears welling up in my eyes telling my husband, “I’m never going to get pregnant.”  I shouldn’t have been drinking because I was already pregnant.   We had no idea that the next two would arrive on their own.  Which was pretty much immediately after our first was born.  They are called Irish triplets, three babies born in less that three years.

When I was twelve or thirteen I was in a huge car accident.  Last thing I remember as the orange Chevy Nova with black stripes rolled over was the interior dome light, it was white with a flower pattern, I can still see it clearly.  I have been in five six car accidents total, three fender benders and three very major.  When I was about twenty I completely totaled a car.  The cop that drove me 15 miles to the hospital stayed in the waiting room.  He asked if I was sure I was okay, and then asked me out.  I was too stupid and self absorbed to even consider how incredibly caring and kind he was.  I was young and naive, I thought everyone in the world was thoughtful, nice and kind.  He said it was a miracle I was still alive.  I had no clue until days later when I actually saw the car.

I’ve got a million of these stories.  They all live in my past.  Some aren’t so happy and some hurt a lot.  I struggle with my past like everyone else, yet I also know how blessed I am.  How do I balance this?  I have hurts that I can recognize for what they are.  I know that I can’t change them, but the hurt lingers deep down in at my core.  I don’t dwell on these hurts anymore, thank God I am past that stage.  But to be quite honest I thought that if I didn’t think about them, or dwell on them,  they would vanish.  That’s not how it works, folks.

They are part of me.   All the scars, physical and emotional, all the lines in my face and everything else you can’t see is what make me; me.  The same goes for you.  You are a total of your thoughts and all your experiences, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful up until this very point in time.

The cynical side of me says, I guess this just means; that which doesn’t kill you make you “not-dead.”  The better side of me says, I am so fortunate and so grateful and everything that has happened brought me to who I am now.

Moving forward should be a cake walk.  It seems obvious to me that we should concentrate on making every experience as positive as humanly possible.  This would build more of the beautiful and good inside and less of the bad and ugly.  Makes perfect sense. Right? Right.

I'm not crying, it's raining.

BUT – I got hurt yesterday emotionally.  Words were said that hurt me at my core.  I let those words in.  I couldn’t brush it off.   Even when I was angry inside, I was aware.  I told myself , this isn’t good for me let it go.  I rattled off unkind words (f-bombs uncut) when driving alone in my car, and kept telling myself to stop.  I felt out of control.  I was so hurt, in tears, in shock and really angry.

Truth is I am not powerless and either are you.  I handled the situation incorrectly.  I should know by now, that this person will take any opportunity to hurt me rather than help me.  I  should be alerted by a  warning signal when this person opens their mouth. ( Is there an app for that? )

What I should have done was laugh out loud and say something like, ” Now, you’re just talking crazy talk” or “You’ve got to be joking” and left it at that.  Or better yet, I should have ignore it all together and walked away. I really should have walked away without speaking.

But I couldn’t leave it alone, I  asked “What did you say?! what did you say?! I’d  like you to say that to my children!”  I  slammed the door as I left.  I was train wreck.

I hope this time is the last time I have to learn this same old lesson. Big heavy sigh.

Anyway that was yesterday.  Today is  Friday.  The best Friday ever 11-11-11 and I am about to win 11 million dollars.  Cheers!

Tip: When someone kicks you when you are down do not respond, just walk away.

Inspiration: “You are what you think … geez, that’s frightening.” ~ Lily Tomlin

One-day one-thing: Splurge.  Do something for yourself.

Unpack the Rat’s costume: a novelist

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I have fallen behind in my de-cluttering of useless stuff, the junk in the garage, etc…. and now I am about to write a novel.  I still have no clue as to what I am going to write, but it starts November 1, 2011, which is tomorrow.

I will be busy with that, and won’t have much time for Unpack the Rat.   I’m going to  continue my journey to living better with less for sure.  Unpack the Rat has been the best thing that ‘s happened to me in a long time!  I’ve learned so much.

Happy Halloween-from my friend Unpack the Bat

Clearing out the emotional clutter was is so incredibly important to me.  Well come to think about it, all the cluttered areas are equally important to me.  They’re all connected and they influence each other.  I never, in a million years, imagined that clearing out boxes and shoes would lead to clearing out everything else and re-inventing my life.

I have a long road ahead, more work to be done, but it’s not as overwhelming as it was before.  I hope to have some great accomplishments, tips, and stories to write about when I return to Unpack the Rat.  I am excited.  Life is good, even when it’s not. :)

Thank you for reading.  I’ll be back.

Until then I wish you peace and love,

Shirley Trevor

PostScript: I really value Unpack the Rat as a place I can unload my feelings, so I may not be able to stay away. This whole “novel” writing adventure is getting a bit intimidating.

Tip: “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”~John Lennon

Inspiration:

Every-day one thing: “Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

Tree at the end of my street -fall color- nature’s incredible design. click for hi-res

Back on the Mat

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Thanks to a dear friend, and a couple on-line friends, I am back on the mat. I started again last two nights ago and hopefully I will never stop my practice of yoga. I am a beginner for the 5th time. Five different attempts to make yoga part of my life. One time I even paid for an entire session, and never went because I thought I was too busy or it wasn’t convenient. So I guess that actually makes it six attempts.

However, this time I feel differently about it. This time it’s not just something I should do. It’s not something I want do only because it will get me in better shape. I have no expectation for my yoga experience, I am going with the flow. I want to do yoga for the rest of my life, as in life-long commitment. I believe that shift in my thinking will make all the difference.

Just eliminated your expectations all together.

This makes me happy. Granted I am little sore really sore, and I have only gone to one session, but I know it’s all possible. Being a beginner (I should be an expert at being a beginner)  is a bit awkward only because it’s new and your body isn’t accustom to being used. You are not unlike a baby learning to walk, unsure and wobbly. But that’s normal.

I’m okay not knowing all the details of this journey and I am okay with being wobbly. I know with practice I will improve. I’m not sure what all the yoga words mean or all the symbols, it doesn’t matter.

Everything will come in time.

So with much gratitude I thank Kat, Claudia and James. Namaste.

________

I want to share these awesome posts from two fantastic blogs.

James: I’m Completely Humiliated by Yoga

Claudia: 32 Suggestions: How to Start an Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Tip: What is the meaning of Namaste?

Aadil Palkhivala’s reply: “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Inspiration:

One-day one thing: Practice breathing.

Re-wire your brain – light up your life.

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It’s time.  This time, not next time, right now and right where ever you are.

(Please know I am addressing myself as well.)

No more excuses. Change your mind and change your life.  Decide today that you are worth taking care of.  Believe that there is nothing more important that taking care of yourself.   Other people do it.  We look at them in awe.  We question how do they do it? Sometimes we get jealous.  Maybe we claim they don’t have troubles, or they are younger, healthier, or they are rich, or they don’t have to work so they have the time. Over and over again we convince ourselves that they can have it all, because of something they have that we don’t.

Each time we make any excuse as to why we are not living our best life we are bullshitting ourselves – every single time.

I have no room to talk.  I am right there with everyone. I have attempted so many times to get my sh*t together that I have all the tips embossed into my gray matter.  Those tips, and they are good ones,  didn’t help me at all.  You know why?  Because I never followed through with what they said. I would read self help books up to about page 30.  You wouldn’t believe how many of these books I donated in my de-cluttering.  I had to remove all the pathetic book marks. I never stuck with anything long enough to get to the point where I knew I was living my best life.

More importantly MOST importantly, I never cleared out all the other toxic beliefs, grudges, and negatives in my heart and mind.  You have to have an open mind, that’s true.  I had an open mind.  What I didn’t have was any extra room in my mind.  You have to have a clean slate, or at least some free space in your head where new ideas can begin to live and grow.

It’s somewhat like a chalk board. Try this:

Fill a chalk board with every thing that you have issues with, and things that makes you angry, and people who have  hurt your feelings.  Write down the negative things you say to yourself.  Right down every regret you have.  Write down any and all shame you carry.  Write down the reasons you don’t exercise or eat right. Write down names of people who screwed you, or lied to you. I think you get the point.

Now step back.  Look at that mess. There’s no room for anything else.  Your board is full.  Full of sh*t.

It’s time to erase that nasty chalkboard.  Everything you wrote down doesn’t matter.  Erase it. It just doesn’t do you any good, in fact every day you keep it on your board (in your brain), you suffer.

This can be a long painful process, but at a certain point in time you will reach a tipping point where, letting go of the ugly past/present becomes easier.  You may even wonder why you didn’t do all this sooner, don’t worry that’s normal.  Here are four simple things you can do this weekend to start re-wiring your brain.

1. Don’t gossip:  It can be a habit.  Just stop it.  It is negative energy that saps you of positive emotions. It’s not nice and it attracts people who are not nice.

2. Compliment yourself: Acknowledge something that you do or did well.  Be proud of it.  It can be anything, even something as simple as cleaning out a cat box.  Just say to yourself, “That was nasty but I did a good job of cleaning it and now it’s done, the cats will be happy.”

3. Be grateful: Every day express gratitude, and recall that gratitude throughout the day.  Key word “express.”  Let someone ( even yourself) know you are grateful.

4. Stop complaining: Cold turkey on this one.  If you can’t say something nice stay silent.

This is only a start. I don’t know if this will work for anyone else, but I have used these four things and they have helped me.

I am working on changing my mental wiring, my life.  I am starting to actually see a difference.  It feels good.  My old issues, they are still there, but they have no power less influence over my thoughts and my decisions.  Letting go doesn’t make things disappear, it just means  you are no longer holding on to them.

Be conscientious of these four simple things for the entire weekend, what do you have to lose?   Happy Friday. Cheers- I love Fridays!

And if you really want to enjoy your weekend try Sunday, simply.

Tip: Don’t be hard on yourself, stop talking yourself down.

Inspiration:

This is my goal in life.


One-day one-thing: Set one realistic goal to accomplish this weekend and do it.

Richard says what I think, only he says it coherently.

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Richard Heinberg- whose latest book describes The End of Growth– isn’t looking for when the recession will end and we’ll get back to “normal”. He believes our decades-long era of growth was based on aberrant set of conditions- namely cheap oil, but also cheap minerals, cheap food, etc- and that looking ahead, we need to prepare for a “new normal”.

(Above text copied from under You-Tube video)