Monday, September 27, 2010
PLEASE NOTE: This post could be considered religious in nature.
NO OFFENSE IS INTENDED. I'm OK with whatever you want to believe - I will not attack you. But I expect the same about what I believe.
If you're not open minded or are very easily offended, just move on to another blog. Thank you.
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Many months ago, I was talking with other mothers at a group. I mentioned something about seeing something one day 'on our way to church'. The original subject we were talking about was abruptly dropped and comments flew about 'rituals' and 'religion' with a sneer (one gal is a very proud athiest). Then there was the whole belly laugh at 'faith'. Felt as though I was under a full attack just for taking my kids to church.
I had felt secure enough to mention it - there is another mother who is downright 'loud and proud' about her faith, no one attacks her. I tried to get the conversation back to the original subject (nothing religious or even remotely so). Then another mother chimed in and the subject never came back round to the original.
I do not try to convert or 'evangelize' - that isn't my way - I find it disrespectful when others try to do it to me, so I do not do it. But these folks weren't even interested in agreeing to disagree and letting things go! I defended my position as well as I could without escalating, another mother finally chimed in and completely changed the subject, the storm calmed, I calmed and prayed for my children to tell me they were ready to go home.
I was a little wounded - where was the basic respect? I had NEVER dressed down the athiest for being athiest - not my place - again, IMO, it's a show of disrespect. I'm OK with whatever you want to believe - I will not attack you. But I expect the same about what I believe.
Since that time, the same scenario played out on a different subject. Just don't feel comfortable there anymore. We're looking in to other groups.
Then the other day, I had a long conversation with a friend who grew up the same way I did, but has converted to his wife's religion. She apparently has emotional disturbances if they don't go to church together. OK, lemme just say that if my husband insisted on converting me or pouting, I would let him pout - even if he did it for a dozen years. But thats me - cantankerous, maybe even a termagant. But I'm ALWAYS RIGHT... LOL Kidding. :) [insert laughter here... :)]
At any rate, the words 'dirty, ritualistic, idolizing, hell-bound Catholic' came up and I was in shock. Yeah... ME. Apparently, some 'christians' do not think catholics are christian!
The repeated message is coming through loud and clear though - rituals (especially in the religious realm) aren't something acceptable. Hmmm...
It's prompted some thought about that word - ritual. If you look it up in the dictionary, it basically means "a repeated set of actions".
I grew up in a very Roman Catholic atmosphere. I went to Catholic school. My teachers were nuns from Ireland - they were smart and funny and I loved them like family. We read the Bible pretty much front to back every year. I was taught that "God is all around you".
At the same time, I am of the Original People - you know, those 'heathens', 'savages' who do 'dance rituals'. Um, just because they do not address Him the same way, the idea is that "God is all around you" and they're talking to God when they're doing that every bit as much as when you're in your church. And yes, I've been called those names and more. ESPECIALLY when I defend the old ways against certain folks who insist their way of worship is the ONLY way. Who, by chance, are usually the same folks slamming the Catholics for their 'rituals'. Hmmm...
No, I do not quote scripture. I could, but I do not. Rather, if someone wants to know, I grab a Bible and let them read it for themselves.
I was taught the basis for every single thing that is done at Mass. For those who aren't in the know, Mass isn't EXACTLY the same every single time. There are different things that go on at different times and the readings and Homily are different every day. But it's a rite, a 'ritual'. OK, yes, a repeated set of actions.
As humans, it so happens that many if not most of us find COMFORT in doing things in a repeated set of actions (commonly called routines). By doing things a CERTAIN way or in a CERTAIN SERIES, it enables you to remember everything that needs doing OR you remember that everything got done.
Or, it's just something you do a certain way every day and if it doesn't happen that way, your whole day is off. Hmmm... comfort.
Driving to work a certain route - especially on a day when you KNOW it's going to hit the fan - can be a huge COMFORT.
Isn't the way you make your coffee or tea every morning a comforting 'repeated set of actions'? How about the way you prepare your meals - especially your favorite? Or sitting down to dinner every evening the same way?
How about the things you do before you go to bed or after you're in bed - you know, the things you do to help yourself sleep better - your skin care 'ritual', brushing your teeth, clearing your mind, reading a certain number of pages in a book, your evening prayers.
Think for just a minute about the things you do the same way because it helps you remember or gives you comfort.
I was taught that if someone is to end up in he((, it's through their own actions and lack of repentance for them. Not the decision of anyone here on earth. If someone tells you you're going to he((, they are trying to manipulate and control you. Where you end up in this life and after is entirely UP TO YOU.
As for those who believe that you accept your religion one time and you're saved from that moment on no matter what you do, I have one question: Do you only clean your kitchen once in a lifetime? No. You mess it up, you clean it - sometimes more than once a day. Your soul is the same. If you do not deal with the things you've done by apologizing to the person(s) you hurt or wronged, you're hurting two people - the person you hurt and yourself. Clean your kitchen often. And by the way, if you go about cleaning your kitchen, washing your dishes and putting the food away the SAME WAY EVERY TIME (i.e., in a repeated series of actions), isn't that a little ritualistic?
Before anyone decides I'm on the attack, I'm not. Simply trying to explain things in a different way that hopefully elucidates on the use of certain descriptive words in derogatory fashions.
And as for the 'idolizing' - don't you keep photographs of the people you love around? Do you go and look at them from time to time in remembrance?
Have you ever taken a photo of a recently passed relative and put it next to your bed for comfort or talked to it because you didn't get to say goodbye to the person? Our statuary and pictures are the same - we don't worship the pictures and statues. They are there to REMIND US of some of the basis of our faith. And some find comfort in being in their presence. Just like photos of loved ones.
I know my friend's wife talks to photos of her mother and keeps one under her pillow. How is that different? I don't know.
Rituals aren't BAD. Routines and the way you approach them could certainly be called 'ritual', but because they aren't about your faith, it's OK.
Routines or rituals within my faith are the same as the ones in your daily life. The reasons they were started SO VERY LONG AGO is the same - for COMFORT and remembrance.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My friend was killed last Saturday. Someone ran a red light and hit her right in the drivers side door. She was only 52 years old. I've known her for close to 20 years.
She was one of the wisest and kindest women I've ever known. Her motto was "To Thine Own Self Be True" and she lived it. She was funny, colorful, bright, sweet and thoughtful. And she didn't judge oddfolk like me. She believed in living life fully every day 'cuz you never know'.
No kidding. You really NEVER know.
She used to tell me (often) that I needed to put myself in the equation more and take it easy more. That the better care I took of me, the more of me I'd have to give. She lived that. Well. She did so much for so many.
Unfortunately, it took the loss of her to bring it on home. My apologies, friend.
I hear your voice, I see your smile. You will be missed by many, many more than just me which is a huge tribute to who you were.
Happy Trails, Girl.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This MIGHT sound a little whiny, but I just need to vent.
Its been raining for a couple of days, when the cloud cover stays, the temperature doesn't fall far.
Last night it cleared off. I got up at 1 am, got dressed, went outside and covered everything. I didn't put my lights up because the rain might've come back - it really sucks to have the rain hit your lights and blow them.
The wind blew the cover off of my new baby strawberry plants. I just checked them - they were a little icy. I know that some might die completely and it just bums me out to get kicked like this.
The peach tree and blueberry bushes both came through it unscathed and that's a bright point.
Today I will do cardio only because tomorrow thru the end of the week will be lots of digging again. Planting sunflowers, beans, cucumbers, two big staggered plots of corn - each planted with succession varieties (going to try and get corn for at least 45 days straight - we'll see), and among other things, big orange heirloom tomatoes. My other tomato plants never died off (they're still producing!)- even the two started in the fall, so I am just adding to my tomato count.
Gonna be pretty sore, but it's so worth it.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
OK, this is going to be short and sweet.
As many of you know, I am a true believer in supplementation for illness. I've done a mountain of reading by the likes of Dr. Guy Abraham, Dr. Brownstein, and Dr. Mercola.
Been taking iodine for some time. Drs. Brownstein and Abraham both said that it would take time, but once the body had optimal amounts of iodine in the cells, that most likely, my thyroid dose would go down. I apparently FORGOT that... :|
For more than a couple of years, I was on the equivalent of 200mcg of synthroid. Last year, I got on natural thyroid. I started on 2 to 2.5 grains of the natural stuff. After several months, started feeling like crapola and bumped that up. Felt worse. Added in a little of my old synthroid.
Felt WORSE (It's OK -I'm owning my crap here, just don't be too hard when you kick my butt). IT HONESTLY NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT I WAS TOO HIGH! NEVER ENTERED MY MIND AS A POSSIBILITY. Although it should have the way my temper was always at the surface... Oh wait, that was a glaring symptom when I was too low.... gah! No heart palps, no sweats.
Every time I worked out hard, though, my temper was in everyone's face. My children didn't deserve that, so I didn't work out as much. Poor things. As our friend Steph pointed out, they probably wouldn't be good with BBQ sauce anyway... LOL :)
Finally got some blood done and my TSH was .01. Hello? Really? Dang.
Now on 1.5 grains of the natural stuff and after a rough, shaky ride for a few days, I am feeling strong and alive again! WOOHOO!
So, even with my damaged thyroid, I'm on a lower dose of the natural stuff than I was of the synthetic stuff and I feel 10x better on natural than synthetic. I believe it's mostly because of the iodine. There's other stuff, too, but the big one is the iodine. See Dr. Abraham's research here www.optimox.com/pics/Iodine/opt_Rese
arch_I.shtml (BTW, He doesn't do the research to sell the product. He created the product in response to the research because no one else would.)
Oh yeah, my unreasonable temper is calming, ushering my old mellow self back in. What a relief not to have to wear myself out holding back that caustic tongue all the time!
Stay tuned... (LOL) My butt-kicking workouts will resume shortly... Or is it "my kicking my butt workouts"? or is it........... Whatever, you get the point. I'm kicking my own butt and getting in shape.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The years I spent undiagnosed and untreated took their toll on EVERY aspect of life. By 2004, when I was getting blood drawn every week to check my coumadin levels, I can honestly say I didn't look at myself in the mirror much if ever and when I did, I specifically AVOIDED really looking at my face. Probably had been avoiding looking at my face for a long, long time, too. Don't know for sure. I was more worried about the tracks developing over my veins. I know - weird.
One day, when I saw an acquaintance I hadn't seen for 10 years. He asked "what the he** happened to your face? Were you in an accident?" The bluntness of the question initially ticked me off, but I assured him that no, I had not been hit by a truck, it was persistent (and at that time, looked like neverending) health problems. He didn't mention my ever-increasing (at that time) girth. Hmmm....
I DO APPRECIATE BLUNTNESS. It might be like a slap in the face at first, but once you get past that, things are out in the open, you might as well deal with it.
I went home and really looked at my face. Road maps had developed under my eyes, the skin was fishbelly pale and had no elasticity. What was he talking about being hit by a truck? It wasn't until I took a photo of myself and looked at that. I saw it. One side of my face had atrophied so bad that one eye didn't open quite as far as it should, when I smiled one side of my face just didn't contract as much as the other and the smile was a little lopsided. I looked a bit like a stroke victim. I asked DH why he never said anything? No answer.
I was horrified. What the heck can you do about things like this? I started doing research and found that there are several face building programs out there. Now, there are doctors who will tell you that facial exercises do nothing, but when you take a look, you will see people who are in their 60s and over doing these exercises and they are line free. What's more, their faces are symmetrical - no cave-ins like what I had dealt with.
The facts are this: muscles do not stop at your neck. Toning your muscles in your face and neck changes the tone of your skin.
You're working on your body and getting rid of fat (and hopefully you're building some muscle cuz you REALLY NEED IT!) and when you lose weight, you lose it on your face, too. If you deprive your body of protein, your muscles atrophy EVERYWHERE - even on your face.
I tried to learn as much as I could about each facial exercise program as I could without actually buying it. I wasn't trying to rip anyone off, I just didn't want to get something that didn't work. Many do not really offer resistance training (I know, how funny does that sound when you're talking about your face?), basically the exercises are isometric. There is one out there that claims it's Aerobics for your Face and while I haven't tried it myself, it has gotten a few good reviews.
I'm happy to report that I've been doing facial building 1x to 2x per week since 2004 and my cave-in has pretty much filled in. The road maps under my eyes are mostly gone (I'm sure if I was more consistent and added a day to my regimen, they would be gone by now). I would post my before, but I'm still looking for it. I destroyed many pics of myself during the darkest days of my disease, and it hurt me to look at the 'hit by a truck' pic. It may not exist anymore.
Where to start? Well, first, if you have TMJ, don't do any of the exercises that involve pushing on your jaw. That seems like a no-brainer, but apparently some folks did it anyway.
Face exercises do not replace good skin care. They compliment it. Remember to wash your hands first. If you're not doing any basic skin care, you may want to think about that too.
Tom H. has five basic exercises for free on his website. He's an older man who doesn't tell his age anywhere that I can see, but he demonstrates these exercises pretty well and the written descriptions are good, too.
I've done all these exercises and got a good pump going in my face. What a nice person to share what he knows for free and not make you pay $50, $69 or $99!
I'm not here telling you that you MUST work your face. That is your choice. But I bet I'll be surprised at how many people just never even thought about it.
So, what do you do for YOUR FACE?
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