Category Archives: counseling

“The One You Feed”

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There is a parable which really has me thinking about our Native

American culture and their intuitive minds. It is always nice to get

our minds working, especially from a different perspective.

 

There is  a “podcast” called, “Good Life Project,” which focused on

this story first. The parable is simply what choices we make in how

we ‘feed’ our souls.  It ‘spoke’ to me about so much in a short amount

of words.

 

The entrepreneur and business consultant, Chris Zimmer and his

friend, Eric Forbes, developed a podcast played on iTunes out of

Columbus, Ohio. It is an interactive podcast and has reached huge

numbers of responses.

 

Zimmer is a follower of the podcast, “Good Life Project,” by Jonathan

Fields. He wanted to come up with his own ‘angle’ on using the parable

about two wolves. He explained why he invited his long-time friend,

Forbes, to join him in this quest to analyze the impact of this subject

upon new listeners and followers of the podcast, “One You Feed.”

 

The people who respond to the parable may choose to give up their

addictions such as food, alcohol, drugs, and other areas of their life

which ‘drain’ and ‘take away’ from their fully functioning lives.

Personal areas of lives are openly expressed on the podcasts. This is

reminiscent of the days when you would hear radio broadcasters

encouraging people to ‘call in and spill your guts’ on subjects.

 

There are still many radio announcers today doing just this sort of

thing. The idea of podcasts creates more of an international audience

rather than just ‘local call-in’s.’ It is still a very popular way of sharing

private areas of people’s lives. The same process is found on a wide

variety of television talk shows and self-help programs out there,

where this happens daily.

 

The subject matter may not be as deep as this parable leads you.

Taking you into your own inner workings and promoting self-

awareness seem to be two valuable processes that come out of

reading this parable.

 

I believe and hope this parable will stay in your mind for quite some

time. If you are not ‘into’ sharing publicly on the radio, a podcast or

television talk show, you may start a conversation with your family

or friends after you tell them this story.

 

“THE PARABLE”

“A man tells his grandchildren about a fight going on inside him,

a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger,

envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment and ego.

 

The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness,

empathy, truth and generosity.

 

‘This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person,

too,’ he added.

 

One child asked, ‘Which wolf will win?’

 

The old Cherokee grandfather simply replied,

‘The one you feed.'”

 

Here is a quote about the podcast by Forbes:

“Most surprising to me is the success of the podcast. Eric and I knew

going in that we would have fun doing it, but it quickly became much

larger than just having fun.”

Zimmer also had a dream guest list for his podcast, which includes

some fantastic guests:  “Leonard Cohen, Dalai Lama, Pope Francis,

and other spiritual leaders. Zimmer credits the work of Buddhist

nun Pema Chodron, (another ‘dream guest’) for basically saving

his life through her powerful book, “When Things Fall Apart.”

He continues by saying, “It’s beautiful the way Pema Chodron

sees the world.”

Where did Zimmer and Forbes come from? They are both Ohio

residents from Worthington, Ohio. They view the world from a

Midwestern viewpoint, down to earth, practical and nothing

fancy. Their podcast has had a few notable guests, Lewis Howes,

a professional athlete with roots in Columbus, Ohio. Also, Ohio

Congressman, Tim Ryan, who  wrote, “A Mindful Nation.”

 

If you are interested in joining the ‘conversation’ about the wolf

parable or listen to others who have been guests on this podcast,

you may check out topics covered, articles, websites, blogs and

in some cases, free guides or books at:

 

http://OneYouFeed.net

 

Thank you Jenny Patton who wrote an interesting and much more

detailed article in the January, 2015 “Natural Awakenings” magazine.

You may check her out at her email address: Patton.220@osu.edu.

 

Diverse Snippets

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There are a few fantastic and interesting people who have shared their thoughts

recently in magazines, interviews and I wish to offer these as a ‘pick and choose’

post. I hope you will find something to give you something to ponder about and

may meet your own personal needs or concerns.

 

This will give you ‘food for thought:’

“Cooking demands attention, patience and above all,

a respect for the gifts of the earth. It is a form of

worship, a way of giving thanks.”

~ Judith B. Jones,

American cookbook author and editor.

 

The next one is concerning loss:

“The trick to adjusting to a life you never expected

is to allow yourself to have the emotions, to weave

them in with the positive and move on.”

~ Louise Bonnett-Rompersaud.

 

“Joy does not simply happen to us.

We have to choose joy and keep

choosing it everyday.”

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

Dutch priest, professor and writer.

 

Feeling connected to humanity:

Anna Whiston Donaldson lost her son at age 12 years old.

He was playing in a creek bed, that was normally low, then

it swelled into a raging river. Jack had attended his second

day of 7th grade. His sister, Margaret, witnessed this horrible

event, running to get help, only 10 years old.

Quote:

“Over the next months, when all else was stripped away- most

of all, the flawed belief that living a simple, faithful life would

somehow protect us from pain- I found myself broken.

But it turned out, I was so broken that I was wide open to

receiving comfort in way I had not anticipated.”

~Anna Whiston-Donaldson’s book is called,

“Rare Bird” (Convergent books).

 

“28 Years; 28 Days,

Summary of Two Time Sequences”

by Robin O. Cochran

 

Two actresses have lived with challenges, one who has been 28 years

sober. This is the famous, Katey Sagal. You maybe able to detect her

very distinctive voice in commercials, but her most popular television

show may be considered ‘raunchy’ since she portrayed the Mom on the

show, “Married… With Children.” She also was memorable as Gemma,

in the show, “Sons of Anarchy.” I happened to really like her character

in the show she performed with John Ritter, “8 Simple Rules for Dating

My Teenage  Daughter.” One of the two ‘daughters’ character was played

by Kaley Cuoco. She was the one who made me laugh and had her ‘Dad’

(John Ritter) pulling his hair out. In the last t.v. show mentioned, Katey

Sagal played a smart, working mother who left the house in a nurse’s

uniform, hoping her husband would be able to rule the roost, while

she was gone. It is a funny series, which is well worth finding on a

DVD at the library. The late John Ritter captured both his daughters,

son and wife’s characters’ hearts and they all showed up at his funeral,

truly mourning their ‘father/husband figure’ friend. Katie shared her

sobriety on a CBS Sunday Morning Show, November 16, 2014. Her

husband and music, she feels saved her. She enjoys singing daily, along

with performing with bands. Katey is 60 years old, accomplishing much

and more to give in the future, too.

 

Wait until you hear the professionals, Katey Sagal has performed with

as a back up singer:

Gene Simmons

Molly Hatchet

Bob Dylan

Tanya Tucker

Bette Midler

Olivia Newton John

Katey’s remarkable musical career has included two albums:

“Well. . .” (1994)

“Room” (2004)

 

The  celebrity who went through a disaster marriage, not ever having

expected her husband to be so outwardly unfaithful, is Sandra Bullock.

How does she relate to Katie Sagal who has a wonderful partner in life?

She performed in the incredible movie, “28 Days.” Sandra’s character

is relatable in the difficult and gritty parts of having to choose to give up

her addiction. The message of it being important for the person to make

the choice, not the family is also a clear and meaningful one. This is one

of the main tenets or  principals of AA. The screenplay also shared and

showed some humorous, strange habits of an alcoholic.

Sandra Bullock’s performance and “28 Days” may not be considered as

significant (meaning it didn’t win awards) as “Leaving Las Vegas,” but it

really showed her acting “chops”. If you have been curious or had an

interest in this movie, you will find it engrossing. I had not seen it when it

came out, so it was a nice surprise to take it home from the library and

really dig into the ‘meat’ of the subject. Having been through an alcoholic

marriage and participated for almost two years in Al-Anon and AA meetings,

along with going through marriage counseling, I found the characters in the

AA meetings and in rehab’s behaviors realistic.

Usually ’28 days’ would not seem to encompass the enormity of this film’s

subject matter, but it definitely showed the ups and downs of this illness.

Having seen the movie, shortly after Katie Sagal’s interview, I appreciate

even more the magnitude of her ’28 years’ sober. Worthy of several ‘chips’

and major accomplishment in the fast-paced, pressurized life of acting.

 

On the Lighter Side:

I love the silly repetition of the 2014 song,

“Best Day of My Life,” by the group

American Authors.  Imbedded in their

lyrics are some deeper meanings:

“I howled at the moon with my friends

And then the sun came crashing in.”

(There are some ‘bridge’ humming sounds here.)

“But all the possibilities

No limits

Just epiphanies. . .”

 

May something here strike a chord or evoke an epiphany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musical Eclectic Tastes: A Quartet of Choices

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When you hear this comment, “Life is sweet,” I bet you would not have pictured it

coming from Billy Idol. He showed gratitude for his family, roots and his fans. I was

in awe of the interview, felt I finally understood him. I remember when I first saw him,

on MTV, seeing his punk hair style and his sneer. I never was repelled by his appearance

and every one of his 14 major hits were beloved by me. I did not see him as ‘sinister’ or

mean looking but saw him as confident and defiant.

I am grateful that Billy Idol lived to reach age 58, which is what I am for another month.

I am so happy he is exploring a ‘comeback,’ which is not quite true, since he never left

the musical scene totally.

Billy Idol was born to middle class roots, in England. He respected his parents but he

could not follow their paths of being a professional, his mother was a nurse nor a

businessman selling power tools, like his father. Instead he decided to chase his dream

of being in a rock band. His comment, which is a little ‘explicit,’ but true of his tastes

goes like this, “If you cross rock and roll with punk rock, you get a cross-pollination

bastard type of music: mine!”

Bill Broad, Senior died in August, they had made peace and there was no animosity

between them. He had not financially supported his son, Billy, but he did love him.

It was mutual respect, shown in the interview, which captured my interest. Also, his

mentioning the power of what a teacher said to him, negatively, that impacted his

famous name, “Billy, why do you have to be so idle?” He just changed the spelling,

with a positive twist, becoming an ‘Idol’ in more than name only.

My favorite song is, “Eyes Without a Face,” since I could slow dance to this, while

thinking about its meaning. The other ones you will recognize, include:

“Rebel Yell”

“White Wedding”

“Dancing with Myself”

Re-make of “Money, Money” which he made his own a great rendition.

What happened to him during the 90’s?

He had a serious motorcycle accident in 1990.

This brought him down. Far down.

In 1994, he overdosed at a night club. This bad action on his part, saved his life, ultimately.

It brought him back on the path to recovery. It made him want to have purpose.

I will look forward to hearing new songs, since Billy Idol has always been in my eyes,

a True Showman.

 

 

Another person who has caught my interest lately, is Jenny Lewis. She is age 38, many of

you have already heard of her, let alone heard her unaware it was she delivering the music.

She has a fun style, light-hearted style of singing. She is familiar in many ways, since she

has been around for awhile. One recent radio song, “Just One of the Guys,” makes me smile.

It became a big hit almost instantly, according to a DJ on my way to Cleveland over Labor

Day weekend.

Her life has been all about music, being a ‘backstage daughter’ to a group that performed

in Las Vegas, “The Voyagers.”

When she was young, she was the cute, attractive girl who had her first kiss in a movie

called, “Wizard,” with Fred Savage. She admits, they were just kids and grew up together.

 

When you used to hear the song  for Toys-R-Us, there was a popular upbeat lift to the song,

with Jenny Lewis singing that she was a Toys-R-Us ‘kid.’

In her live shows, she likes to build rapport, she has a lyrical tone to her voice, reminiscent

to some of my all-time favorites like Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell.

Jenny sings like popular and current,  beautiful voices found in Colbie Caillat and Ingrid

Michaelson.

In Jenny Lewis’ ‘wheelhouse,’ there will be one you will relate to. I liked “She’s Easy, But

She’s Not Me.” It is not the way you think of ‘easy,’ she is defining it as not very deep.

So Jenny is saying in her lyrics, ‘I may not be easy to understand but I am worth it.

The other girl may be easier to figure out; but she’s not Jenny.’

Her album, “The Voyager,” is worth a peek. Here are the two rcent girls

I recommend, “Colbie Caillat’s songs, “Bubbly” and “Try.”

I recommend, “Girls Chase Boys” and “The Way I Am.”

 

With the name of “Keb’ Mo,” you could possibly mistakenly picture a rapper or a

younger man, but this man is a three time Grammy winner who plays the Blues!

What inspired his newest album, at the age of 62? Marriage counseling! He and his

wife were going to therapy and he realized, while thinking on the way home from

a heavy session, how love is a struggle and you have to keep putting work into it.

In his deep thought, you can find his heartfelt passion for his wife. He feels that

love is important after all to fight for, continue but it is typical blues material,

when you hear that “Love hurts.” Marriage has been a ‘battle field’ subject matter

before but this man’s interpretation was ‘new’ and interesting to me.

Keb’ Mo and his wife, Robbie Brooks Moore live in Nashville. They participated

in an intense weekend of counseling. This became the theme for his new album,

“BLUESAmericana.”

He addresses commitment, love, pain, changes, and forgiveness. Relationship

‘stuff’ that he admits they had avoided for years, in an “AARP Magazine” article.

When Keb’ Mo started out singing, he used the name of Kevin Moore. He adopted

his bluesy stage name in his early 40’s to allow listeners to see his dedication to

the subject of the Blues. He is not changing hit style, just created a whole new

batch of songs with, “If Somebody Hurt You,” a gospel-driven tune with zappy

sound and divulging roots of pain.

In “Move” and “I’m Gonna Be Your Man,” you will see how love made him a

renewed and changed man, with upbeat tempo, good lyrics. These songs

include Moore playing a variety of guitars and includes some organ ‘grooves.’

Sam Chamon’s song, “That’s Alright,” will be familiar to you. The rest are all

new and exciting. I have to laugh at his attitude, when his wife worried what

“people might think.” He said so aptly, “Honey, this is not a business for caring

what people think!” Humor, gospel, upbeat, sad and you have Keb’ Mo’s music.

 

If you don’t know Patty Griffin, you need to listen to her! She has a relatively

new album called, “American Kid,” on New West Records. She is one you can

easily listen to again and again. I am confident, if you are like me, who embraces

a wide variety of musical tastes, you will enjoy this one! Patty is bluegrass and

country, a combination that is a pleasure to listen to.

You also have heard of her long-time boyfriend, Robert Plant. He is embracing

his “mountain roots,” while accompanying Patty Griffin on this album. Plant

co-wrote, “Highway Song” and added musical touches and arrangements to

“Ohio.” This is a great combination of two musical talents. (If you wish to

listen to Robert Plant check his popular songs, “Net Worth” and “Rainbow.”)

If you want to know a song that is unique and has a lot of character, try:

“Wild Old Dog.” It is about the sad story of someone dropping off a mangy

old dog on the side of the road. If he had turned around and looked at the

car leaving him behind, it may have reminded you of “Old Yeller,” Chuck

Yarborough, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, music critic fame says. No,

instead there is a different way of taking this song:

“He tore off running

Like we’d set him free

And just disappeared right in front of me.

God is a wild old dog.”

(Which reminds me of an English high school teacher, weirdly enough, who

had us write a poem about dogs and God.)

Can you believe this prolific artist, Patty Griffin, probably already has another

album out called, “Silver Bell?”

 

Dave Mason played with the group, Traffic. In 1967, the band was formed with

Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood. Dave is a songwriter/artist whose

song, “Only You Know and I Know,” for his newest album. In the old days, he

had written, “Feelin’ Alright” for Joe Cocker. What a great song that was!

He has played with Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix, among many other

legendary musician icons.

His group while recently featured on a talk show includes first name basis

singers, he introduced simply as, “Debby, Bonnie and Friends.”

Check out the songs, “Sad and Deep As You” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”

I enjoyed this philosophical perspective in his saying, (I did not use a tape

recorder, so this is the ‘essence’ of what I heard him say):

Quite simply, the songs are about human relations and that’s never going to

change. Colors change, seasons change, clothing styles and time passes.

This changes, that changes.

But leave that shirt in the closet long enough, it’ll become fashionable again.”

 

What are you listening to, lately?

 

Grown-Ups Here

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We are all “grown ups” here, I hope! I realize there are occasional young

people that are part of the blogging community that may wander in and

read one of my posts. There are ones who are as young as high school or

college who may stop by. I believe anyone who is logged into wordpress

or have their own blog are able to hear about a wide variety of subject

matters, or make the choice to ‘move on.’ I also think everyone should

read other posts, just in case the first one is just not your ‘cup of tea.’

Today, I am not trying to ‘start something,’ nor wishing to add too much

controversy in your lives. I don’t wish to shake you up or create drama

that you aren’t interested in.

I am hoping for a conversation about relationships.

The working relationship between the characters of Boothe and Temperance,

in the television series, “Bones,” had a great quotation that I will try to paraphrase

to give its essence:

(Boothe to Bones)

“Our perceptions are always colored by what we want to believe and hope for.”

I will share just some recent things that have caused me to ‘draw conclusions’

on the subject of couples.

Everyone has read or seen the subject, “Signs You Need to Break-up,” on the

television, in articles and on talk shows. Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, all have

their opinions and judgments.

I always hope you (my friends and family) will know and make that choice on

your own.

There are times, though, that you may feel as a good friend or family member,

that you have a right to express your opinion. You are my ‘family’ of sorts and

I wish to share reasons I would ‘give up’ rather than ‘fight’ to stay in a rocky

relationship.

You sometimes know, instinctively, when you have heard a person tell you about

someone who seems a little bit “off” or “wrong” for that friend.

Here are some strange and real examples observed or told to me by friends.  .  .

When You Know Things Are Going Wrong or

When You Need to Dis-Connect:

1. Calling one of the members of your ‘couple’ (spouse/partner) “Selfish.”

This is something that I could not believe someone said recently around me.

In this case, I would need to find out why that person was being considered

‘selfish’ and tend to think the one who is ‘name-calling,’ may not be meeting

that other person’s needs.

2. Using derogatory comments, with possible swear words, in a group or

family setting.

In this time, I was at a play area, where the person said this to the other one,

in a loud voice, while children were playing near by.

This would be, truly, a cause for leaving someone. Sorry, I don’t play around

with ‘maybe’s!!’

3. When you walk into a home, where the people are not great-grandparents,

and there are two Lazy-Boy’s, side by side, with an end table in between.

I am wondering how long have these people been living on parallel chairs,

with no bodies touching?

4. One participant in a relationship, who is not open for any counseling nor

discussions about improvements. There is a big, final door shutting on this

couple, I hear about at work.

5. Shorter version, not open to friendly (not nagging) suggestions and gets

hurt and insulted ‘easily’ by the other member in the couple.

6. One excuse after another, even when there is no financial nor scheduling

challenges, for having a ‘date night’ and time away from children.

7. One excuse after another, for months on end, with no physical or emotional

reasons behind these excuses, (unfounded excuses) for refusing any kind of

intimacy.

I would recommend the frank and explicit film, “The Sessions.” Our library has

it, it is about a man who is a parapalegic who has sexual healing sessions with a

physical intimacy counselor, played by Helen Hunt. It is very touching, I cried. I

felt that someone who is fully capable of having romance, will realize that it is a

gift to be able to do so.

This was brought up in a painfully honest, step by step movie, on how to get the

‘spark’ back into your marriage, in “Hope Springs.” It is not, in any way, funny.

But so honest and brutally true of some couples with their lives on hold, for

whatever reason. (Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carrell, in a

serious role as a counselor.)

8. In a shorter version of #6 and #7, one person ‘putting distance’ into a

relationship. There is something wrong, this needs to be fixed before it is

irreparably repaired or broken.

9. No ‘big’ secrets kept between members of a family.

10. There is an uneven distribution of ‘power’ or ‘control’ in the couple.

This can be quite upsetting, when you see one or both covering up this

but other times, the truth slips out. Control and abuse are both forgivable

situations for separation or divorce, in my mind.

(Not going to worry about the Bible, since there are not any passages to

support this. It is okay to leave if your partner leaves ‘first’ and you don’t

need to follow. This is the only example of infidelity being a reason for

leaving, that the Bible addresses. No words about if the person is being

abused, emotionally or physically.)

They fester, rot and eventually tear apart the foundation of trust and love.

There are many ways to have a wonderful relationship and it is no one’s

business but the two of you, unless it is a confidential, impartial member of

the clergy, physician, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist or member of the

medical field.

My friend, Melvin, is not embarrassed to talk about how his girlfriend has

undergone different surgeries, outcomes of having cancer in her internal

‘private’ areas. He doesn’t broadcast them, but when she had a colostomy

bag, due to her having colon cancer, she and he dealt with this. When she

had an ileostomy, due to having something go seriously wrong with her

urinary tract, they managed to get through this, too. She has improved her

health, taken steps to have both chemo and radiation, so now the “stoma’s”

are the only physical remainders of her having both urine and fecal ‘bags.’

Melvin once confided in me, that he and his girlfriend have found ‘ways

around the different complications’ to ‘express their love for each other.’

After 15 years together, that is wonderful and admirable, that they realized

that they still needed to feel physically connected.

We have had a few comments back and forth, last summer when I brought

up that I was contemplating intimacy with a man I had dated for over a month.

I was hesitant, I gave a few humorous examples of how three women plus

myself had told on our more embarrassing parts of ‘growing older.’ That post,

with different stimulants, varied physical challenges ended with one of the

women sharing a strange and uncomfortable position. Anyway, hope that it

is okay to tell you that I agree with Melvin.

There should be ‘no limits’ to the ways you would engage in closeness, with

another person. As long as Both Parties are comfortable and agree. If there

are parts that are not satisfying, then being open to changing the parts but

adding something else to enhance the happy feelings and connectedness

one feels while engaged in romantic activities. When there are physical

challenges, “there are always alternatives for both parties involved,” my

friend Melvin shared with me.

After we talked out in the parking lot, Melvin asked me if I felt like we

should not have ‘stepped into this area of discussion,’ being friends and

coworkers. I felt very blessed and happy by knowing them. Melvin’s girl

friend and he were able to overcome their obstacles, working like a ‘team.’

I told him I had high hopes to have someone who treated me with the

same respect and consideration that the two of them expressed for

each other. They were ‘blessed’ for this union of lives together. I am so

happy that Melvin kept with Diane, despite these physical challenges.

Melvin then reminded me Diane no longer has them, since they hung

on, through it. He said,

“We may be not married, but we treat our feelings like ‘vows,’ and the

one about ‘for better or worse,’ continues to apply to us.”

 

I ended the ‘personal space’ dialogue by saying,

“Of all the things my parents talked about and what I learned from their

own personal lives, sex is not the weirdest topic covered!”

He burst out laughing and we got into our own separate cars. Happy to

have an open-minded friend to share some personal moments with, once

in awhile.

Blessings Found Daily

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In an Australian photographer and filmmaker, Hailey Bartholomew’s

documentary, “365 Grateful,” you will find blessings. This, of course,

is referring to there being 365 days or chances to show your gratitude.

You will start to believe in possibilities and living on the ‘sunny side of life.’

A woman inspired by Hailey, named Lori Portka, embarked on her own

project, “A Hundred Thank-You’s.”

 

Do you see how this ripple effect can keep on going?

 

Lori Portka had not been painting since she was younger.

She was in tenth grade when a personal tragedy struck.

She gave up her love of art and beauty, in ‘one fell swoop.’

 

By viewing Hailey’s documentary, something loosened up inside her.

This moving and visceral film helped to put her back on a better path.

She chose to put her hidden and deeply rooted sorrow to better use.

To think she had quit her passion, back in her 15th year of life, to carry

around her anger, denial, hurt, and pain is so sad, to me. Her refusal to

experience true happiness until her thirties made her original loss, deeper

than ever.

 

Actions speak louder than words. Such ‘trite’ words, but they can make

you decide that there is more to life than mourning.

‘You are alive,’ Lori finally felt.

 

She started to take delight in her favorite parts of her daily routines.

She was inspired by nature, yoga, traveling, animals and friends.

She had not pursued art as her primary focus, in going to museums or

any other attachments to it.

 

Those were of her past life.

Lori had obliterated all of it from her life.

 

What started her thinking about her own way of handling being grateful,

was to decide she would paint, create and give 100 art pieces away.

This project became her motivation to engage in life, art and spreading

happiness to those who she wished to ‘thank.’

The ones who had ‘touched her life in a beautiful way,’ received their own

unexpected joyful gift back.

 

Lori Portka can be found at LoriPortka.com,

Listen to these words from a changed woman,

“I feel like I am on the right path, doing what I am supposed  to do.

Art feels like home to me.”

Consider finding your bliss, spreading it around by engaging some lucky

participants in your activity or ‘craft,’ and discover how the gifts come

back to you, in unexpected ways.

Lori was a former counselor and educator, she became a fine artist.

One who had stopped painting due to that particular, personal  loss.

You may feel inspired by the film, or Lori’s thank you project, or some

other impetus, that will get you started.

Feeling again, enjoying simple things that sometimes are more meaningful

when you realize, in one moment, your ability to carry out those tasks,

could be swept away.

Loir’s art now pours forth, boldly expressing her joy. Each image is filled

with saturated pastels, paints, chalks and inks. The bursts of color and

vibrant patterns remind me of several artists. But to compare to others,

sometimes is not a necessary part of feeling the emotions rendered by

the artist. It sometimes, in my mind, takes away the individuality of each

artist’s heart and soul.

Lori Portka’s quote for the day can become yours:

“I make artwork that is a reflection of gratitude and joy to the world.”

 

What is your passion or how do you find your ‘bliss?’

Will sharing it broaden and expand your life and horizons?

Will it bring happiness to someone else?

 

Friends Till the End

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I like to find people, discover them, and sometimes everyone already knows

all about them! I hope that I may introduce you to a novelist, plays and short

stories writer, along with being a screen writer named, Bruce Jay Friedman.

Since this will be posted on Wednesday, let me tell you this man will get you

laughing! He is quite a curmudgeon.

Friedman calls himself honestly,

“The Considerably Older Guy.”

His most famous book, selling lots of copies, was called,

“The Lonely Guy’s Book of Life,” (1978).

Friedman was lucky to have been discovered early in his life, by becoming

published at age 23. His first short story appeared in the magazine, “The

New Yorker.” His first novel, “Stern,” came out in 1962.

Here are some of Bruce Jay Friedman’s  ‘takes’ on growing older and trying

to stay friends,

“Until the End.”

1.  “Don’t allow a small disagreement to ruin a friendship.” If you find yourself

disagreeing about politics or something esoteric, like “Kurdish independence,”

don’t come to blows over it! He goes on to tell you to remember your history

together, the good times mainly. “The Kurds will always be there, but a good

friend won’t necessarily.”

2.  “Don’t insist that a friend see you exclusively.” He explains that its a good

thing when people have a variety of friends. Who would think of these lines?

“It’s perfectly acceptable for a friend to have friends of his own. And there

is no need to spy on the friend and hack his phone to find out who he’s

speaking to. It’s not like dating.”

3.  Make your spouse your best friend. He goes on to say that they are able

to understand your hopes and fears. They may enjoy going to places you

like to go to.

His joke he adds to this section is: “But it’s tricky. (being friends) When you’re

ready for sex, she might say: ‘Are you crazy? I thought we were friends.'”

He mentions that your spouse accepts you for who you really are. . .

“But don’t push it, though. Even the closest friends will draw a line at nose an

ear hairs.”

4.  When he mentions people with money and who are in ‘high places,’ he

tells us to “Think twice about having a friend who occupies some high and

influential station. There will always be the feeling that you’re taking up his

precious time.” You already have enough feelings of inadequacy, as you get

older!

5. Instead of being worried about age, having friends who are younger can

be invigorating. He says, “Instead of being jealous of his youth, admire his

vitality. And don’t expect a young friend to remember David Niven. Or even

Eisenhower. Consider yourself lucky if he remembers the first Bush.”

Here are some great suggestions that I would label, ‘warnings!’

6. “Limit contact with a friend who greets you with a yawn and says, ‘It won’t

be long now, right, fella?'”

7. “In matters of friendship, try to steer away from financial matters.” He jokes,

“A friend, no matter how wealthy, might grant you such a loan and then resent

it bitterly for the rest of his days.”

8. (On more money matters) “If you’re pressed to the wall and in desperate

need of a loan, make sure it’s for a substantial figure. Don’t ask for $18 and

blow what might be your one opportunity. (And once you have the loan, don’t

lie awake riddled with guilt, or worse, return the loan immediately, which

defeats the whole purpose.)”

Bruce Jay Friedman gives some parting words on friendship. . .

9. “There is no such thing as a perfect friend.”

10. “Finally, it is of great importance to have at least one friend who is in worse

shape than you are.”

This is the wisdom of the man who wrote the screen play for the Oscar-nominated

movie, “Splash,” with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah. I loved the humor, love and

friendly way the love story goes in that sweet movie. His memoir, “Lucky Bruce,”

came out in 2011.

 

 

All Kinds of “Fixes”

Standard

In their third album, “X & Y,” songs and lyrics by Coldplay, there

is a lovely song called, “Fix You.” The British rock group was

founded in 1996. Two college friends, Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland,

started together having met at University College, London, England.

Their group, also, includes Guy Berryman and Will Champion.

The breakdown of the musical group, Coldplay’s talents goes like this:

Guy Berryman is on acoustical guitar, Jonny Buckland plays percussion

instruments, Chris Martin is talented on the piano and Will Champion

plays the piano, also. They have contributed to the writing of many

of the group’s songs together.

The song, “Fix You,” has a slow, sweet pace with some sadness in the

lyrics. It is about someone who is broken, who doesn’t ‘know their worth.’

The singer is expressing the desire to fix that person. I find it a song

that ‘haunts’ me.

I almost included this song in my “Homeward Reflections” post. I felt

that my poem, partly inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel song, “Homeward

Bound,” could have been a ‘bookend’ to “Fix You.” (The album, “X & Y,”

came out in June, 2005 in the UK and Europe.)

Only the lyrics held me back. . .

I was a little bit disturbed by the implied arrogance of the title.

Also, the idea that someone felt capable of ‘fixing’ anyone other than

themself.

Probably, I was a little brought ‘down’ by my own personal inner feelings

of having possibly chosen, in past relationships, ‘broken people.’ Some

sense of inadequacy naturally derived from several failed marriages.

Was I saddened because this made me examine these feelings again?

Am I one who likes to play God and “fix” others?

I wanted that post to be positive and upbeat, so I left the Coldplay

song, “Fix You,” out of the post.

While talking to others, since that ‘home’ post, I found they thought

that I may be misinterpreting the words of the song.

I am also intrigued with analyzing the different ways that we use the

words, “fix,” “fixing/fixin’s,” and “fixed.” I have upon reflection,

decided I don’t like the lyrics, but still absolutely adore the song

by Coldplay’s artists, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland (and others) in the

lyrics’ credits.

My favorite parts are the beginning stanzas and the repeated (3 x)

refrains.

Here are those ‘pieces’ and help me to understand what “fix you,” means

in this song:

“Fix You

“When you try your best,

but you don’t succeed.

When you get what you want,

but not what you need.

When you feel so tired,

but you cannot sleep.

Stuck in reverse…”

(“Tears” stanza)…

(“You’ll never know what you’re worth” stanza)…

Refrain:

“Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you.”

The definition of “fix” includes the ideas of

Repair,

Mend,

Prepare,

Make whole,

and many more definitions.

In my favorite part of looking at a word, I like to engage in ‘word play.’

It helps me to think in terms of lists of uses of “fix,” “fixing,” “fixin’s”

and “fixed.”

This may be challenging to understand if you are used to another language!

This also may confuse you, but variations of the word, “fix,” can be shown

in both negative and positive connotations.

POSITIVE uses of the words that have a root word of “fix:”

1. “fixer-upper” house- one that someone would purchase, make it better by

putting their hard efforts into. It is usually a first home, but sometimes

fixed up to become a rental or ‘turn around’ home. (Real Estate.)

2. “Fix-o-dent” can be quite helpful to keep elderly (and toothless) persons’

dentures in place. (Personal Hygiene.)

3. “fixin’s”- In the south, sometimes in the ‘hills’ people consider this

the delicious side dishes that go with the main meal. Cracker Barrel had

a section with this label for quite some time.

I especially like the expression, “all the fixin’s.” (Food Preparation.)

4. “fix up”- When you are getting fixed up to go out, your appearance

usually is improved!

Example: “My, you certainly look ‘fixed up’ for the party!”

Other variations can include, fixing one’s hair, makeup, and adjusting

your clothing.

Example: “She ‘fixed’ the length of her dress to cover her knees.”

5. “fix”- To prepare a dish or dinner.

Example: “My friend ‘fixes’ a great lasagna!”

6. “fix”- To set up a date, match-make a friend.

Example: “I ‘fixed’ my brother up with my high school friend.”

7. “fix”- To mend or repair, in the way of making whole.

Examples:

a. “I will do whatever it takes to ‘fix this’ and make you feel

comfortable.”

b. “He told her that he would ‘fix’ their relationship by building

her trust.”

8. “fix” or “fixed”- To have won the lottery or inherit money. Be ‘set.’

Example: “That family if ‘fixed’ for life!”

9. “fix” or “fixed”- To be focused on a goal. (Personal Development.)

Example: “He was ‘fixed’ on the Prize.”

10. “fix” or “fixed”- Body parts replaced or repaired. (Personal

Appearance.)

Examples:

a. “She had her eyes ‘fixed’ by laser surgery.”

b. “The famous actor had his facial structure ‘fixed’ after

the accident, through plastic surgery.”

11. “fixed”- A short term used when an animal is neutered,

spayed or castrated.

Example: “I had my dog ‘fixed.’

12. “fixin'”- When one is planning to be married or do an action,

they may express this as, “I’m fixin’ to get hitched!” (Slang.)

My personal bias, interpreting this definition, is that we should

have animals fixed, if we are to help with preventing over-

population of animals. Breeders are allowed to interpret this

usage as negative, since they may wish to produce champions or

make money selling ‘pure breds.’

NEGATIVE uses of the words derived from the root word, “Fix:”

1. “fix”- A person may use this word when ‘in a jam,'(or bind) or

otherwise need someone to bail himself/herself out of a bad situation.

Example: “I’m in a fix.” (Personal Behavior.)

2. “fix”- To repair something broken, attach two parts together with glue,

other things that “need to be fixed.” (The positive result of fixing,

done well, is its counterpart, the whole item.)

3. “fix”- To comply with a teacher or employer’s request to “Fix this.”

This means a mistake or problems lie in the presentation. (The positive

result of fixing this, may mean a better grade or a raise!)

4. “fix”- Need to have a drug, caffeine, sugar, tobacco or other mood

enhancer.

Example: “I need my caffeine ‘fix’ or I won’t be very productive.”

(Slang term, “I need a fix,” can be very negative…)

5. “fix”- This takes on a sinister meaning, in politics, hidden agendas

and mobster movies.

Example: “You better ‘fix’ this!”

(Interpersonal Relations.)

6. “fix”- In certain situations, meaning to change or ‘throw’

something.

Examples:

a. “The fight was ‘fixed.’

b. “School test scores have been found to be ‘fixed’ and may have to be

retaken.”

c. “The player ‘threw’ the game by fixing the bets based on a losing

score.”

7. “fix”- In slang or colloquial usage, can mean revenge or vengeful

thoughts or behaviors.

Example: “That’ll ‘fix’ her!” (Personal Behavior.)

8. “fix”- To adjust an item of clothing that needs to be.

Examples:

a. “Fix your fly!”

b. “Her bra straps would not stay up, so she had to continually

‘fix’ them.”

Both examples are easily turned into positives, when the person

adjusts their clothing item! (Personal Appearance.)

As far as the song, “Fix You,” goes, I feel that no one should think

they are solely responsible for another person’s decisions. I found

this out, through Al-Anon and also, marriage counseling. Accepting

and adjusting to the choices your partner makes, will help you to

stay together. Only when you feel that you cannot do so, then if

the other person doesn’t want to change and adapt to your ways,

then you may need counseling or separation, to reflect on whether

or not it is worth changing for the other person.

Certain phrasings don’t go over well with me, since I feel that in

most relationships the couple needs to work together to make decisions.

I prefer Kahlil Gibran’s image of two cypress trees, neither in each

other’s shadow. Here is a passage from the 1923 book, “The Prophet.”

This is how to be part of a couple, in marriage:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you…”

(Several passages follow)…

“And stand together, yet not too near…”

“The oak and the cypress grow

Not in each other’s shadow.”

When you leave a comment, please let me know if you think the intention of

this song, is positive or negative. Is it just me that worries about an

unspoken sense of negative control of the other’s being?