Saturday, February 5, 2011

Free Advice Is Worth What I Paid For It

Have you ever paused to consider what your favorite room in your home says about you? I haven't. But this morning I noticed my writing room says something loud and clear about me: I live in a land of contrasts. The beagle dog hair lies an inch thick on the carpet (neglect, messiness, who-gives-a-shit, good grief, woman, have you never met a vacuum?), but a very clean pot of sturdy pink hyacinths has landed on my desk next to the laptop (life and beauty cherished here).
I'm off to search for soul at a workshop. I'll be back.

(Friday evening, I had this to say about life-shifting events:)
Another fun-filled day on the California central coast has passed. I don't think I told anyone what they should do about their life situations today. I did listen to a few people talk in a noon AA meeting. The topic was Faith: How Do You Get It When You Don't Have It?

I'd like to know the answer to that myself.

My convoluted path to well-being. Picture me on the lower left arm of the root. Got miles to go before I sleep.


I had no sleep whatsoever Thursday night because I'm in pharmaceutical transition (it doesn't matter what that's about), and I drove into town at the crack of doom with a brilliant idea percolating merrily in my head. I'm either dog-tired of paying attention to icky things, or brilliant ideas are percolating merrily.

I think my life is shifting beneath my feet. Six months ago I was a boring middle-aged poet. Today, I'm looking into "clarified breathwork" and prenatal journeying, not to mention Metsu, which I thought was a Jewish ball of bread. I am pricing a hookah. I didn't know what a hookah was two months ago. I Googled "wellness retreats" and gave thought to the physical repercussions of a "cleansing" diet. I didn't like what I was thinking but there I was, thinking it anyway.

Saturday finds me in a local college town with my 80-something friend, doing something called "Searching for Soul." The workshop is free, so why not? What was I going to do with this Saturday that is so important, anyway? I think I'm going to ride my shifting plate tectonics (see below) like a surfboard and see what happens.

(Early Friday morning, I had this to say about people offering free advice about how to Behave:)
I was in a hot tub with my best friend last night, relating the sum of my week, which I found interesting and worth the ruminating. She listened like a good friend does, and then she pointed out that the conclusion I had come to was based on a flimsy foundation. I think she said something like "You're just buying into that because it co-signs your bullshit."

My bullshit being, in this case, taking long afternoon naps and once a week or thereabouts staying in bed all day.

It doesn't matter to her why I am doing that. It matters that I am doing it. This is a common refrain from our mutual AA sponsor. All excuses are navel gazing. My friend made her observation right after I told her what the hospice grief counselor said when I bemoaned the sleeping business for preventing me from doing things I believed I should be doing. The counselor said, "You're too busy lying down." That response cracked me up. I made her write it down on a piece of paper so I could show my dearly beloved. This is a bonafide counselor, in a PhD program from a worthy university.

"In yoga," said the counselor, "savasana or the 'corpse pose' is the most important part of the session. You lie on your back, still as a corpse. That's where the healing takes place."

So this morning, after yet another sleepless night, I wrote the tale of how I feel about all the good advice I'm receiving from caring people...and did it in 55 words, so I could participate in the G-Man's Friday Flash 55. You can check out the tales other people are briefly relating here.

I decided I will file this piece under the header: Everyone knows the right path for me to walk.

The physical therapist says improve
my mobility. The doctor says exercise
like my husband; my husband says
rise early and be punctual. My friends
say don’t lie abed but fill my days.
The grief counselor says my plate
tectonics are shifting, so rest as long
as I like. Of all the voices, hers I obey.


The Bug said...

For what it's worth, I think she's right :) I think grief needs as much rest for healing as other physical injuries.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I like this, don't think it's buying into bullshit but healing, yes. My therapist said let grief flow over you like waves, don't run from it but don't let it knock you down. I don't think all sleep is avoidance, at least for me, I tend to avoid more awake.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Shifting Tectonic plates should not be ignored.
I used to visit a lot of (perfectly healthy) bedridden relatives when I was young.I think it had an effect on me. I don't go to bed but I LOVE it. (figure that one)
and I often dream of a vast fully equipped road legal bed that I would never have to leave.

Brian Miller said...

better to rest those plate tectonics than have them cause an earthquake...

Monkey Man said...

...and a surgeon would say we have to cut you open, see what's inside and take away what ails you. Professionals play to their strengths. Think I'll go lay down.

Magpie said...

It's always funny to me that everyone knows how to "fix" me and my problems, but can't seem to do the same for themselves. Love your 55. Have whatever kind of weekend works best for you! :)

G-Man said...

I'm laying down myself...
Thanks for the back story, Thanks for this perfect 55 Chris.
Thanks for visiting and playing today, You Rock The Left Coast baby.
Have a Kick Ass Week-End...G

Steve E said...

That grief counselor would be my new doctor--got the right prescription!

Up a ways you wrote that your friend told you something about co-signing your own BS. I thought co-sign had something to do with mathematics. (Maybe so does BS, as in

SO glad to 'see' you again, Chris!

Doctor FTSE said...

I'm sure that writing this is as beneficial as any grief counselling. And the 55 is admirable. All good wishes.

Rachel Fox said...

There are no answers... we stumble through...

Andrew said...

I spend a lot of time abed myself. I have pretty much quit passing judgment on myself and just go with it.

Not to say I am not still trying to find out why and find a solution, if there is one.

Steve E said...

Comment #2
LOVE your new header...although I could have gazed at the older one for a couple more years! THANKS!

Syd said...

I have done a fair amount of navel gazing. I haven't felt the plate tectonics shift in a long time, but that doesn't mean it won't occur again. I love this post.

RNSANE said...

It is so funny, so much contradictory advice...just take what you wish and throw the rest away. I find myself awake most of the night so I sleep when I get sleepy, even if it's half the day!! Hey, I'm retired, why not??