You know what? I'm bored with this shit. Being a good person, BS. It's just so ... dull!
Yeah, I hink I'monna start acting like DT and HW and BC, over here. Just, go up to people and start grabbin 'em by their privates, demanding sex, tellin' em how good lookin' they are while in the next breath how I'll ruin their careers and lives if they tell anyone how I acted, then maybe rape a handful of 'em, just to prove I can. And I'll be very rich and very powerful, so I'll be able to buy off anybody who wants to tell the public. It'll be awesome. It'll be an awesome cycle of conquest and power, conquest and power, and more conquests and more power.
Course... in some tiny corner of my brain, I will be silently weeping for the young child - one born with goodness, love, beauty, and promise - I once was. Because now, this is all I can do. This is what I am, now: my whole life is assault and cover-up, assault and cover-up, assault and cover-up. And, deep down, I know this means that I am a criminal. I do not belong in society. I belong in prison, probably in solitary confinement. I should be stoned by my victims, and I know it. None of the people around me could ever dream of being as disgusting and terrible and hateful and small as I am; and if they really knew how I was inside, and if they did not need me for something (money, power) ...they would turn their backs on me, and shun me forever.
But after dozens and dozens of victims, I am so small, by this point, in my own mind so insignificant, so full of nothing, that I *must* continue to seek out victims because it temporarily shuts off that part of my mind that tells me that I am nothing. And most other people don't hate themselves like I do, they can't imagine living as I do, that anyone would, or could... and so they are trusting. So it won't be hard to find one after another, after another; each one will present themselves to me like a lamb at the doors of the slaughterhouse.
And, sure, each victim comes with a potential price tag. But I can afford it. So there I remain, trapped inside my own worthlessness and nothingness, forever, because now that tiny corner of my mind (where I used to simply weep for the small child I once was, full of promise and dignity) has become Trump Tower-sized, Weinstein Company-sized, and Cosby Show-ized. And now inside there, I no longer even have any pity for that small child. I hate that child, too; for it was me, but is no longer. I killed it. And it's too late to go back; there is no mythical offspring who will take off my mask, and tell me I am loved, and beg me to come back from the darkness. The light inside is as faint a memory as the dodo, or the horse-and-buggy, or the rotary phone. I have spiraled down inside my own dark loathing so far, I can no longer even remember what it felt to be a human being. I have destroyed my own consciousness, the one and only gift that makes me not like an orangutan, or a cockroach. I have destroyed my human-ness, obliterated my whole self, and I have no nameable emotions except a never-ending cycle of panic and rage. For I know that, without money and power, I am nothing to those around me, and I am completely and utterly alone.
Which is what I feared -- and felt, deep down -- all along. That I am disgusting and horrible and hateful and unlovable, and that I will forever live in a cage, because that's the only place I belong. A child's nightmare, self-taught, made real. I am a self-fulfilling prophesy. My mind is a prison of it's own making, and if I could pray, if I believed in an all-knowing being outside myself who would lower themselves so much as to even listen to any of my prayers, I would pray for the sweet release of death.
This Day in Autistic Homeschooling:
Took the morning off to go pick up our new bike. Favorite color n' everything.
Took it to the park, getting the hang of it... feelin' good!
On the way home, we stop at alleys and crosswalks (like a BOSS), because (and I quote) "We don't wanna get in an accident with THIS baby!
We talk about what to name the bike. Feel like maybe bike is our new best (inanimate) friend.
50 feet from home, we wipe out... good feeling, gone.
...now we HATE the bike, as we feel it has betrayed us.
Avery, reviewing my bedside reading last night:
own a BOOK!!!!
about how to
Today was really good day. It was the kind of day you want to tell your best friend all about, just like when you were in high school, and you just got that really cute boy to look back at you... but you and your friend have different classes all afternoon, so you end up writing her a really long note (that you're going to pass her, later) instead of paying attention in Algebra... because you just can't wait to tell her all about it.
So buckle up. I'm writing you a note. And here's me, passing it to you in the hallway...
So, first of all: I got up ON TIME. I know. Even though it snowed overnight (wha?!) and honestly I felt like I could have stayed in bed til NOON... I didn't, I got up, and I made the coffee, and then I did my Qigong (like, the whole thing, even the foot-thing, the one I hate and sometimes skip).
And while I was doing my Qigong (and drinking my coffee), Warren did Math class with Avery. LOVE IT. Then I grabbed some breakfast (the Dragon's Way Special: green juice and cashews), made Avery some breakfast, and then Rowan came over for our usual Monday morning classes. They played, and worked on Art and Science, all while I wrote!
By Noon, I was almost finished with the main narrative of the book, so I did a little happy dance on my way downstairs. And then, drum roll please... after I fed Avery lunch, I sat down and finished the rest of the book. It's just the first draft, but it's DONE. It's all in one place, all (or most of) my ideas, down, on paper. Literally, too, not just metaphorically, because I printed it all out (for editing purposes; not because I hate trees).
Yes, it's done. And yes, it's a thing to celebrate. I've always wanted to write a book, ever since I fell in love with Romancing the Stone as a kid. In fact, I wanted to be a writer, largely because of that stupid movie. Because it looked like so much fun to be (pre-Columbian-drug-lord-kidnapped-my-sister) Joan Wilder, blubbering away and forgetting to buy toilet paper. I always wanted to know how it felt to neglect your personal hygiene for weeks, until finally you type out those final words -- "The End" -- and then feed your cat some tuna fish, pop open a bottle of wine, and celebrate by throwing the dishes into the fireplace. This is the livin'!
But it was only 1PM, and we didn't have any tuna fish. So instead I just threw some clothes in the washing machine... which, shit, I just realized, I forgot all about them.
But that's part of what made today so awesome! Because not everything got done, except the most important parts.
Anyways, in the afternoon Avery worked on his comic book for Language Arts, and we talked about what to do when you get stuck with your plot (duh, make something bad happen to the protagonist, of course!), followed by a lesson on Vikings for Social Studies. And all afternoon he did great during his lessons, and was a great listener and a great worker, and I just love having him home on days like this, when he's a little mini-me, writing his book while I write mine...
Then he played while I did some jobby-job work, and then I took him to swimming class, and while he swam (which wasn't 100% awesome b/c the substitute swim teacher was sorta mean to him, but he did basically OK) I started reading said book... and I realized that it honestly doesn't suck. At least the first 40 pages are OK.
Then after swimming, I took him out to dinner at the Golden Nugget because we had no food in the house for dinner. And it was very delicious, and only $21 plus tip because he ate off the kid's menu. Then we hopped on the bus, got home quickly, and he ran downstairs to watch TV, which was awesome because it gave me a chance to finish binge-watching Season 2 of "LOVE" on Netflix. SCORE. Then Warren came home, and the boys hung out, and then I hung out with Warren for a bit, and now I'm getting Avery ready for bed. Kind of ...because he sorta does it all by himself, now. Because he's almost 10.
And I'm exhausted... but I'm also happy. Everybody did what everybody needed to do today, but... I didn't have to do it ALL. I did PLENTY, but not everything.
And, yeah, sure, Avery's going to bed a tiny bit late. And no, I didn't get much jobby-job work done, but there's always tomorrow, and none of it was urgent. Except my book. Today, my book was the "work" that had to get done; it wasn't going to wait to be finished, anymore. I was going to sit down and complete the main arc, and write THE END.
So... that's what happened, and there you go. Sometimes your creative life actually, more or less, comes first.
I'm off to bed. Thanks for reading this really super long note, friend. I hope Mrs. B didn't catch you reading it and take it away. Because ...it was just a really good day, and I felt like sharing it with you.
by Cara Winter
Inspired by the play MISTER FUGUE, by Liliane Atlan
Fugue State (definition): "... a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality, and other identifying characteristics of individuality." ~ Wikipedia
LIGHTS UP ON:
The Make America Great Again Detention Centers of America (Now Great Again)
a desert outside Las Vegas, NV in the not-too-distant future
The Detention Center is empty, save for four children who have been hiding in the sewers and surrounding desert. They have been on their own for so long, they are now like wild animals in almost every way, except they are human children:
SARAI (a different brown)
OLIVIA (sort of white but not really)
A man (BEN, white, 30-45) walks into view. He is carrying a Nintendo 3DS, and a brown paper sack.
Another man (JOHN, white, 25-30) in a uniform enters behind him, tapping him on the shoulder. They whisper to each other.
BEN: John, I told you to fucking stay out of sight!
JOHN: Yeah, dude, but I forgot to give you this.
John hands him a gun, concealed in a bag.
BEN: A gun?! They’re kids; I won’t need this.
JOHN: Dude, their parents were illegals, Muslims, blacks… you can never be too careful.
Ben takes the gun.
BEN: Fine, Jesus Christ. Now get lost, alright?
Ben sits down on an overturned garbage can, and begins to play his Nintendo, with the volume all the way up. After a few moments, we see a child’s head (JUAN) popping up out of a nearby sewer cover. Ben pretends not to notice it, absent-mindedly grabs a potato chip out of the bag with one hand, trying to beat the game with only one hand. Juan approaches him.
JUAN: You’ve gotta keep both hands on that thing. You gotta, you're gonna miss the-- you've gotta catch those, dude, and you're running out of power, so -- watch out! Watch out, you're gonna ---
The game 'bleep-bleeps' indicating Ben has lost.
JUAN: --lose. Moron.
Ben glances at Juan, and then puts both hands back on the Nintendo. He plays again, more feverishly, and Juan becomes involved in the outcome, jumping up and down, pumping his fist, etc.
Two other children (KEVIN and OLIVIA) emerge from their hiding places, drawn by the sounds of the game, and/or the food.
KEVIN: Can I see? Lemmie see.
OLIVIA: There are no grownups. Should be no grownups. Only kids. Grownups hung and shot, fucking hung and shot, or just raped and shot and then taken away. Or just taken away, maybe raped there. Wait, is there food in there?
Olivia peers into the bag beside Ben.
OLIVIA: Chips! O.M.G., shit, can I have some?
Ben nods absent-mindedly. Olivia begins to eat as though she's never seen food before.
KEVIN: Lemmie have some!
Kevin grabs the bag away; Olivia and Kevin fight over the food.
Ben has now allowed Juan to play his Nintendo. The children are in heaven.
Finally, SARAI emerges. She wears a tattered headscarf; she is the most elder of the children.
SARAI: Stop! All of you! Olivia! Kevin! Juan! Go back to into hiding, you idiots, this could be a trap!
From out of nowhere, John and a second soldier (DAVID) grab the children, pointing guns at them. Ben also grabs one of the children, and brandishes his gun.
DAVID: Hands up, kids. You’re illegal and you're coming with us.
This play is derivative of a copyrrighted work by the late playwright Liliane Atlan. Please email me directly if you are interested in staging this play, so that we may discuss rights & fees with the copyright holder of the original piece.
The ancient Greeks invented it.
They got everybody in town together, sat them down, (yes, plied them with alcohol) and told stories. The people listened, their hearts rising and falling with the joys and sorrows of the hero's. And in that act, in the act of empathizing, the people believed they were able (only in this sacred place, and only together) to communicate with God. By attending, by listening, and by communally giving their response back to the Gods, they were experiencing a great mystery.
This place was not a church or a temple. It was a theater.
My church is the theater.
If you do not believe that a theater is a church, that's fine. But those who do ask that you respect it as such. For, to me, to us, it is a sacred space.
Would you go into another man's church, and stand up in the middle of a sermon, and heckle a priest? Would you? Even if they believed all sorts of odd things you'd never even heard of; I mean, WOULD YOU?
I have been to friend's churches and temples and synagogues. I do not always believe everything I hear or see, in these places. But I don't heckle. I certainly don't snicker, or cross my arms over my chest shaking my head in disbelief. I listen, and I am respectful, and (while I'm there, I might as well) see if I can find a message inside that speaks to me. I mainly do this, though, not for myself, but for others. Yes, for those believers around me... because they are there to experience the Divine, in their own way, in whatever form that takes for them. I don't want to trample all over that; for that is sacred, too. Worship, in any form, is sacred.
Plus it's just rude, and bad manners, to disrespect someone in their place of worship. It's ... well, even the most common men and women understand that; don't they?
The theater is my church. It is my temple. It is where I worship the great Mystery. It is not a talk show, or a sitcom; the theater is a place for the communication of empathy, and a place for communication with the great beyond.
So if you can't at least be respectful whilst inside my church... you shouldn't be allowed inside it.
Which is why, if while inside you disrespect this place, this temple, this church, of mine... you will promptly be shown the door.
A friend recently asked me how I stay inspired to write every day. What keeps my creative mind humming?
The answer is... I have no idea. I don't possess one of those always-inspired, manic brains that simply churns out gem after gem. I have something altogether different.
For me, as a writer, there are two types of days:
Type 1: Ideas come to me, and I feel that they need to play themselves out, through me. These are 'portal' days, where I'm listening to the messages from the great beyond. And they push me into the chair. These are the good days. But they're rare.
Much more common, 98% of the time, it's:
Type 2: I started something yesterday in a fit of creative clarity, but now I don't feel 'inspired'; in fact I'm fairly grumpy, or anxious, or I didn't sleep well, or I have a thousand other things competing for my attention. But I must resume working on it, because that is the only way it will ever be finished. And if I never finish it, I will float down into a spiral of self-loathing and inner cruelty, and wind up alone, herding cats, and calling them my babies. So I push me into the chair.
In other words, I am a hostage to the creative process. Type 1 days lure me in. Type 2 days keep me in bondage.
But I'm lucky. Because there are 3 things that make me perfectly situated to writing:
1. I love making shit up; always have. Writing is an outlet for what would otherwise be known as Pathological Lying... which is kinda nice.
2. I'm prone to a bit of self-loathing. But writing, as it turns out, is the antidote. By writing, I have a real, live, concrete way of 'fighting' those feelings of worthlessness, or smallness, or whatever it is. Writing is my weapon. I keep the demons at bay... by feeling productive.
3. I grew up with three fastidious, Type A people, and at some point they converted me (mostly).I hate a cluttered living room, or not knowing exactly (to the penny) how much money I have. I'm exacting. I want it to be perfect. I have high standards. This is really, really helpful when writing (and editing). There's always something more to do to the stuff I created on that Type 1 day, because it has to be perfect.
On Type 2 days, all 3 of these things help. They assist in the arduous process of applying butt-to-chair.
So ... that's a long answer to the short question of 'how to be creative or inspired every day': I'm not. For me, it's about capitalizing on that 1 day per month where I feel inspired, and then reminding myself how awful I'll feel if I don't apply my fingers to the keyboard on the other 29.
Late last year, our son Avery was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
This did not shock us, other than hearing the actual words being said out loud. No, we knew; he’d been showing various ASD symptoms and behaviors for a few years, and having recently added stimming (pinching his fingers in front of his face while talking) to his long list of quirks, we knew he’d probably have his ADHD diagnosis ‘upgraded’. He has all too many hallmarks of a high-functioning kid on the Spectrum: terribly rigid, too literal, limited interests, social interaction issues, and more. It was clear; we finally had our diagnosis of ASD.
Fast-forward to a month ago: September 12, 2016, the date that (for my family) will live in infamy! (Or, whatever the opposite of infamy is!) We drove down to Des Moines, Iowa to see Dr. Kavalier of Kavalier & Associates, recommended by an old friend of Warren’s. Dr. Kavalier had been using an off-label Alzheimer’s medication on kids (and adults) with ASD for over a decade with remarkable success, so we decided to meet with him.
I was nervous, on two fronts: Part of my feared he’d looked at Avery and say, “Oh, this won’t work for him, he’s too high-functioning”. Another part of me feared he’d fit the profile, but the medication just wouldn’t work.
Neither fear came to fruition.
Dr. Kavalier took Avery’s medical history from us, and observed him as he stimmed quietly, in his chair, and withdrew into his imagination. Then Dr. Kavalier began telling us stories of thousands of patients (literally, over 3,000, to date), 99% of whom had been turned around by this medication called “Namenda” (generic: Memantine Hydrochloride). He told us of non-verbal Autistic kids who suddenly spoke to their parents after being on it for three days. He told us about one, formerly non-verbal patient who waltzed into his office after being on the medication for three weeks, looked him in the eye and exclaimed, “Dr. Kavalier, I’m the smartest one in my class!” Example after example, kid after kid, just like ours. We started to think, “What if this could help Avery?”
We told Dr. Kavalier we wanted to try it.
Three days after Dose #1, when we called Avery upstairs to dinner, he didn’t whine or refuse. Instead, for the first time in recorded history, he replied, “Okay, but first let me put away my toys!” The next day on the way to school, he started a spontaneous discussion with me about whether Dolphins or Humans were smarter; he heard my reasoning, and contributed his own thoughts, in a fully organic, real-live, give-and-take conversation. That afternoon, he addressed a friend’s mom by looking her in the eye and asking his question (no stimming, pacing, or searching for words).
In two weeks’ time, he was starting to turn things around at school, and was more easily engaged in the classroom assignments. He stopped having explosive emotional outbursts when plans changed, or when asked to transition. He began engaging in conversations (both at home, and at school) outside his narrow range of interests, and stopped withdrawing into his imagination so much.
One month in, Avery’s getting A’s and B’s on assignments he’d have gotten F’s on before (because he thought them too ‘boring’ to attempt). No more outbursts, no more disruptions in class, no more refusing to do things, and for the first time seems genuinely engaged in school, and enthusiastic about what he’s learning. Obsessive thoughts/ speech patterns, stimming, and withdrawing from reality have all been reduced by around 85-95%. We are still playing with his dose, and there is still room for improvement (the stimming, some social anxiety)… but the gains we’ve seen make us feel like shouting it from the rooftops:
This stuff is a miracle drug.
This could be a cure for ASD.
This shit WORKS.
Dr. Kavalier tells us there are no side-effects (and we haven’t seen any, either), and there is no reason a person can’t be on Namenda for an extended period of time. His patients who have been on Namenda for 10+ years all are pictures of health. It is unknown if children who have taken Namenda until their 20’s will be able to be weaned off, but he suspects it’s possible. We’ll know in the next few years; that formerly non-verbal little girl who proclaimed she was the smartest one in her class? She’s just started college, and she told us she wants to be a Pediatric Oncologist.
Now… I could get into all the reasons why this medication isn’t FDA approved for kids ... a) few medications actually are, b) now that it’s generic, the companies don’t see any financial incentive for it; c) whatever, life sucks. And just search the interwebs; plenty of people (and the FDA!) warn of the "dangers" of off-label prescribing. However, given the strength of Dr. Kavalier’s own data and experiences, and given our own friend’s daughter’s miraculous recovery… we felt it was a risk worth taking. For, as Dr. Kavalier said of Avery, “Look, if he doesn’t go on the medication, he’ll be okay. He’ll grow up and probably go work with computers; he’ll work in IT, but he won’t interact with people unless someone needs help with their computer. And he won’t go to the Christmas party. But… if you put him on it, he’s clearly very bright, so… the sky’s the limit.”
It’s not that a job in IT would be a fate worse than death or something, but rather it was the Christmas party bit that stung. We want Avery to have a full life, engage with other people, have friends, maybe have his own family one day, and experience all the world has to offer. We didn’t want him stuck in his own imagination, struggling to connect or hang onto a job. Or, worse; sometimes ASD kids turn into very disturbed teens, difficult to control, angry, sometimes even violent. The "risk" was one we were willing to take.
If there are any changes, I'll post about it right away. But... one month in? I'm convinced. I'm shouting it from the rooftops. This shit works.
I know it’s hard. These days, so many of us are so stuck in front of computers, it starts to feel as if our only connections are made via the internet. But it is a false connectedness. An illusion of connectedness. It does not have a pulse. It is pictures and snippets and songs, and sure, a momentary diversion can be nice... but it is not the Real Thing.
The good news is, we don’t have to be satisfied with internet connectedness; we can do better. We can still have the Real Thing, too. I went to breakfast this morning with a dear friend, and after two hours of chatting and laughing and talking about the last few weeks, I could tell we both felt rejuvenated and revitalized. The simple act of connection, and friendship, healed many wounds.
When we stay inside, indoors, keep to ourselves, hole up during the long cold days of winter, or the heat waves of summer, when we do not see friends, or go for walks, when we do not have coffee or set up a play-date… we stew. We stew in our own juices too much, and even if your juices are finer and fresher than most, one’s own juices will always go rancid at some point. You need to add other people’s juices, and other places besides your living room, to to freshen things up.
Have a cup of coffee with a friend; make time for a long walk; look at the sky and clouds, and the stars, and dream. Otherwise, you’ll go numb. Or worse, you’ll fixate on hate. Or hating all the hatred in the world. But the hate of hatred is, let’s face it… just more hate.
All summer, I’ve been waiting for a handful of career-things. Waiting to hear about a couple TV pilots I’m trying to sell; waiting to hear about a start-date on this TV show I’m supposed to be staffed on; waiting to hear if maybe this book I've been writing is worthy of being published. These things are all just waiting, in the wings, with a Curtain refusing to rise. It feels somehow wrong to be waiting because it’s summer, when (supposedly, allegedly) this is the season of blooms, when all things pollinated are now bursting forth, fulfilling their potential. But not me; I’m being asked to wait on blooming, on fulfilling my potential.
But... the result has been that I am forced to be in The Now, not in the future. And what a gift, that has been. Being asked to live in the present, to watch my beautiful child splashing in Lake Michigan with his best friend, to take lazy afternoons walks with him, engaged in nothing more earth-shattering than stopping somewhere for a drippy ice cream cone. And the feeling I get when I have spent my day like this is… I have done it. I have won. I have beaten down the bad guys. I have shut out the Hate in the world by doing simple, loving, pleasurable things. By reveling in my son’s love, and the love of his friends, and the love of my friends.
I find, at the end of such a day, that I am just so grateful. I’m so grateful for that odd, free morning with nothing to do. I’m so grateful for thrift-shopping, I’m so grateful for the beautiful, neighborhood pool where we can swim and sun ourselves; I’m so grateful for Lake Michigan, and that my almost 9-year-old still wants to cuddle. And my gratefulness fills me up, and suddenly I can past November 3rd, and I can see past hatred and ignorance, and I see past the next Supreme Court case, and I can feel (instead of worry, or anger, or frustration or hate) the joy and the harmony of everything.
I cannot control others. I cannot stop others from being hateful, or ignorant. All I can do is be loving, myself, and then take that out into the world. To lead by example. To love.
We fight off the bad-guys with love. It’s that simple. We fight off the bad-guys with love.
We humans are not innately patient, as a species. Patience is something we have to cultivate.
Now, it’s all very well and good to say, “I need to learn to be more patient,” but ...how? Up until a year ago, no one had ever really taught me how. No one had ever given me practical steps.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with waiting for something to happen. We have to wait for things all the time; to check out at the grocery store, for those fun shoes we ordered to come in. But when we are waiting for something big, perhaps even life-changing—say, for an answer from a production company about whether or not they want to option your script – the days can seem to last forever. This kind of waiting can cause anxiety, anger, fear, resentment, self-doubt, even depression. How to wait, when waiting causes these emotions, which then feel as though the process is eating us alive?
Of these side-effects of waiting, Anxiety was my thing. I had to be admitted to the ER (with chest pains) FOUR SEPARATE TIMES before I’d admit that I had a problem with anxiety. Prozac didn’t help; it only made me feel ‘checked out’ and numb. St. John’s Wort sort of helped, but not really, not consistently. Yoga didn’t help because I just didn’t really like it all that much, so I never did enough of it to reap any benefit. Massage helped with the side-effects of anxiety (Fibromyalgia, sore muscles strained to their breaking point from constant fight-or-flight), but never addressed the root of the anxiety. And talk therapy, which I’d done on and off for years, only confirmed that I’d ‘had a tough life’, but did nothing for the gripping and painful spasms in my chest, the sleepless nights, the spiraling negative thoughts, or any of the other nasty little symptoms that come along with anxiety.
When I discovered Wu Ming Qigong, and began practicing (daily) I no longer experienced anxiety. I might feel a feeling like impatience, anger, or frustration – but I was able to feel and process it, so it would pass through my system, and be released... instead of festering and getting ‘trapped’ in my chest or muscles. (These are not technical terms; this is just my experience of what was happening.)
When I am practicing Qigong each day (and a full practice only takes about 25 minutes), I experience patience during the practice itself. Sometimes I am doing one of the movements, and I just want to stop, for no reason (or, in my head, it's "boring"). But if I simply ignore that childish thought, or remind myself of the benefits, I can focus in on the present moment (even if that's just doing the dishes), and complete what I'm working on.
Wu Ming Qigong practice is basically training me to experience patience in my everyday life. Yes, I am waiting for something, but if I focus in on what I am doing in the present moment, the waiting is easier, or temporarily forgotten. And the thoughts around what I’m waiting for are more reasoned, more loving. “I’m waiting because someone is saying ‘yes’; they haven’t yet said, ‘no’, which is good. Saying 'no' is easy, a quick phone call that gets me off their to-do list. So the fact that they haven't yet said 'no' is a very positive thing. So I should continue to wait and see, with optimism. Because something really amazing could very well come out of this situation.”
Why is this? Qigong is based on the basic principle (backed up by discoveries in modern physics) that everything is energy. This energy, in Traditional Chinese thought, is known as Qi (pronounced "chee"). It is thought that Qi moves through certain 'meridians' in the body (this is what an acupuncturist 'taps' with their needles). With Wu Ming Qigong, you become your own doctor, massaging the meridians with simple movements, allowing Qi to flow freely. It is thought that blocked Qi is the cause of most physical or emotional imbalances, and that, by unblocking the Qi, wellness and balance will be restored.
Now, do I know for a fact that this is the case? No. It's rather mysterious, in fact. But I have been able to set aside my Western mindset long enough to practice Wu Ming Qigong, and I have witnessed changes (both mental and emotional) for myself. And when I don’t practice my Qigong every day, let me tell you, the pain, anxiety and depression come back. In the past two weeks, I’ve only managed about 1 or 2 practices and man, do I feel it. Negative thoughts, lack of energy, loss of sleep, tension in my jaw, neck, and upper back muscles. It's not just physical, but mental and emotional. It’s almost like not doing Qigong now is a punishment.
And the same goes for eating healing foods, taking Chinese herbs and tea, and getting enough rest (and not too much alcohol): all of these things make me feel good; not doing them contributes to feeling bad. If I’m not doing these things every day, it bears the question: “Why? Why punish myself? What have I done, to feel (deep down) that I do not deserve to feel healthy, or happy, and at peace?”
Those are hard questions, and I honestly do not always know the answer. Sometimes I’ll remember a snippet of something from my past that makes me feel guilty, or sad, or regretful. So maybe I’m trying to punish myself for those transgressions. Maybe I feel, deep down, unworthy of the feelings of wholeness and contentment that have come with learning Wu Ming Qigong. That could certainly be an old brain habit, as I was taught as a young person (by outside voices) that I was not good enough, not pretty enough, not graceful enough... just not enough.
So the hard work NOW, now that I know the path (for me) to self-healing, wholeness, happiness and contentment, and yes, even patience… is stopping myself when I start to wander off into the tall weeds. As I’m wandering away, training myself to say, “Stop. You can stay on this path of patience, contentment, and health. Because there’s nothing you’ve done that is so bad, that you deserve pain and illness. When you are wrong, you admit it. When you have hurt someone, you apologize. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and acceptance that you give your own child, your spouse, your loved ones, every single day. Be the friend and mother to yourself, that you are to others. It’s okay to do this. I mean, go on and wander off the path for a day or two, if you must, but remember to come right back to this. Because this is good and kind, it is a way to be loving to yourself, and you need it. What's more, you deserve it. You are enough.”
I think now, the biggest hurdle? Finding the patience to keep working on that last bit.