Lyrical Yin-Yang

 

I love this song for so many reasons. But that one line in the chorus “Everything that kills me makes me feel alive…”, that knocked something over in me internally and got my attention. It hooked me hard, the rest of the lyrics just kept pulling me in deeper.

When you think of the Chinese philosophy, this video captures the two principles distinctly. Yin – negative, dark, and feminine and Yang – positive, bright, and masculine whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

Throughout the music video, you can see the contrast playing out. Hope, despair. Doing life your way, being led. Determination, defeat. Good, evil. Fighting the establishment, following it. Every bit of being engaged in either spectrum will lead you to the results you experience in your life. Fact.

That one line though is the point – we all need to get to our darkest depths to escape and break through to the other side where there’s light. Crumbling from defeat is where life begins again. We have to experience it all to have it be a whole life, to feel complete throughout the entirety of it.

Every time I listen to this, I imagine the tastiness of living fully engaged.

It feels good and bad.

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Manicured Lawns

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Every day I challenge myself to walk two miles. It’s not my favorite part of the day, but moving is a requirement. Otherwise, I feel more like I’m one with the couch rather than this world. Usually, I do it in the gym. When the weather is refreshing, and weight training isn’t also on my plate, I walk in my neighborhood. What I do enjoy about being out and about close to home is seeing all the colors of nature and feeling either the heat light me up or the wind cool me down. I’ve always enjoyed that connection to all that surrounds me.

On my walks, in between all the thoughtful conversations I’m having or written pieces I’m trying to work out in my head, I notice a whole lot of people’s attempts at manipulating their front lawns. Most of them neatly done. I see every square inch of the green strands perfectly in order, complete with lawn ornamentation that on many, compliment either the house or the owner’s personality very nicely. The lawns go from deep luscious green to weather-whipped tan and everything in between. The human-made variations of lawns are as plentiful as nature’s vibrant and colorful display of foliage. But, some go to the extreme of saying a big Fuck You – I own you! to life with their manufactured look, rather than an inviting natural feel to their display.

I’m a big fan of orderliness in my regular day to day life so one would assume that I would be equally thrilled with those lawns that smack of having a paid lawn maintainer or an enthusiastic gardener as its caretaker, but I’m not. Even though the crisp look of those well-maintained lawns do add charm and a sense of ‘all is well in the world’ rightness to the neighborhood, there is something distinctly off about it too.

I believe that some Űber-manicured looking lawns are trying to present the perfect picture, but just like the clothes people wear meant to hide personal inadequacies or as the large houses chosen to impress are covering up massive debt and insecurities; these lawns are also hiding something. The facade of beautifully well-kept greenery could be concealing an ugliness on the interior of the homes that sit on those grassy pictures of perfection. I don’t know that for a fact, but it is indeed something I contemplate. Humans do try to hide their true natures sometimes. Our society, so often, demands obedience to facades otherwise judgments will be harsh. It hasn’t yet successfully come to terms with accepting people as much as they could and, in my opinion, should.

The cliche ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ comes to mind when I think about the pristine lawn. The people go to any lengths to impress other people with their skills at lawn maintenance. It’s a facade implying they are equally as good as their lawns. 5-star quality people is the message. At least, the maintainers of those lawns hope it will lead other people to believe that. They understand what society dictates and they are playing that game of what’s truly important. The appeal may be to present this polished outward appearance to indicate a level of achievement that won’t warrant negative judgment. The fact is, their character, as individuals, should be the barometer of what qualifies for being upstanding, not their damn lawn. I will say that there are probably a few lawn aficionados who are perfectly well-rounded, well-adjusted human beings and their top priority is only to be creative masters in their lawn universes. I’m not speaking about those people.

My thoughts aren’t always accurate but with a lot of the different things this old lady has learned in her life, I’m betting I’m not entirely incorrect in my thought process today. Appearances and fear of judgment are huge in today’s world and something I don’t see changing any time soon.

Or maybe the only reason this even comes across my mind is that I don’t have a manicured lawn. This piece would help to explain it to the neighbors who don’t get why it’s not essential to me.

I hope they are reading it.

My neighbors would finally understand who they are dealing with; a person who frequently doesn’t adhere to the dictates of this society.

 

**Originally published on Susi’s Soap Box 7/25/2011 Re-posted here with revisions

Invested

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Life is not always a canorous version of what you want reality to be. It’s excruciatingly hard at times. Shit happens. And sometimes, when it inevitably does, it’s brutal.

Getting up and moving on to accept your next challenge and even pleasantness means effort. Existence and really living means hard work.

Taking gut punches from life and not vomiting or dying says you’ve got courage.

I applaud you! And I commend you for the endurance you show in the face of it.

May your decisions more often than not lead you to your happy place.

My mission is to be in the audience of lives who choose determination. I’m your cheerleader!

What an honor to be in the front row as a witness to your joy, passion, and rewards.

Carry on, friends.

Necessary Rituals

 

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A sudden weariness takes hold of me.

Yawns escape with more frequency as the battle to fight them begins.

And the nightly ritual starts again.

I shut down the lights in the room and head in the direction of the soft place.

The companion water bottle and cell phone walk with me.

One last bathroom trip to empty the bladder and guide the toothbrush around in my mouth. A vigorous spit and done.

My clothing flies into the hamper, my glasses land on the makeup table.

Getting closer.

I delicately walk towards the bed avoiding the edges, protecting my toes.

I made it, sinking down into the cushiness of my bed. Ahhhh escapes my lips.

Just a few more things to do before I can meet the sandman again.

In pops the nighttime medication to do its work.

One last check on the cell phone. It’s off and charging.

Snuggling in to find the sweet spot which will comfort me best. It doesn’t take long.

Finally, I close my eyes and take a deep breath.

Slowly, my breathing finds an even pace.

And I begin to trail off in this life to end up in another.

Sunshine Blogger Award!

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Wow! Two awards in one week! Thank YOU, Lori, for this one! I guess that means you like me, you really like me! 🙂

I’ve been tagged by the lovely LORI’S BOOK SHELFREADS  Adorers of books, show her some love!

WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

THE RULES

  1. Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  3. Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the award.

11 Questions from Sara

What book are you currently reading? 

The Spawn of Lilith – Dana Fredsti
Time Shards – Dana Fredsti & David Fitzgerald
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents – Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD
Fire and Fury – Michael Wolff

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you were only allowed one book, which book would you take with you? 

John Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies – The Complete Home Medical Reference

Which highly acclaimed author can’t you get into? 

Deepak Chopra

Do you buy books based off the cover or the summary? 

Depends, sometimes it’s one or the other, sometimes both

Most read author? 

David Fitzgerald

The last book you gave a five-star rating? 

Alpha God – The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression by Hector A. Garcia

If you had one pill that would transport you to a fictional world, which fictional world would you choose? 

Equality by Edward Bellamy

What would you rather be doing right now than answering these questions? 

Nothing, this post is my daily contribution to I Write Her. Thx for the inspiration! 🙂

Which book are you constantly thinking about even though you read it a long time ago? 

Looking Backward – 2000 to 1887 by Edward Bellamy

Favorite book villain? 

Svidrigailov of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Where do you like to read? 

Curled up on the couch with a hot cup of tea.

My Questions:

  1. What type(s) of books do you enjoy immersing yourself in?
  2. If Fahrenheit 451 became a reality, what book(s) would you save from the fire?
  3. Which author has shaped your ideology?
  4. What appeals to you when you are browsing through bookshelves?
  5. Catcher in the Rye or A Million Little Pieces?
  6. What impresses you the most while reading good books?
  7. What book has drawn you in so completely that you wished you lived in that world?
  8. Does reading make you want to write your own book or does it just push you to buy more books?
  9. What book was insightful so as to influence you in a different direction?
  10. Describe the perfect character.
  11. Do you multi-task when you read or focus solely on the book?

I’d like to tag – AimeeDianaShera LaynVicky LeighNatalieSusan and SuePamelaKayleighAlex’s BooksLeftyKentucky Book Lover

I look forward to your posts! 🙂

Painful Confusion

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Shocking upheaval delivered unexpectedly.

The heartache pounded harshly inward.

Internal distress burnt a tortuous red.

A deep cut surrounded by a million small tears.

The stress widened all the wounds.

Anguish and heartbreak followed.

The future, unending and suffering agony.

Sorrow and grief dictated the next steps for survival.

This daedal misery mimicked a slow death.

Love left in a upset heap, an untidy disarray of hurt.

This… this from someone who cherished commitment.

Well-Intentioned

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Ending an email or a letter with Sincerely always seemed formal and stuffy to me. It never really felt genuine anyway. I choose to use Take care instead. The person’s welfare is important to me. I wonder if they ever really hear that?

Recently I’ve begun to say Be well instead. It still implies that a person’s well-being is important to me; it just shifts the message slightly. Take care says “please watch out for yourself because you never know what could come your way” while Be well says “farewell and feel well.” The tone is a positive directive to just do everything in your power to being or feeling good. I really like that.

It seems so minor, I know. But Take care feels hesitant and Be well is bold and forceful almost. It’s the intention behind the latter ending which makes me want to use it more now. We could all use a little more support, I think.

Coincidentally, I recently learned of the philosophy of eudaimonia. Aristotle states in his Nicomachean Ethics that it means to be doing and living well. What I understand about it is that one can achieve this state of well-being through the pursuit of knowledge, honesty, kindness, and courage. Using a rational approach to life such as gaining scientific knowledge was also considered valuable.

It’s true that when we apply rational and critical thinking to situations, they tend to go a lot smoother. The outcome, even if a disastrous one, will likely lead to an easier adjustment to that situation. Seems like a formula for success.

What I also find interesting is that it helps me to understand my desire to use Be well instead of Take care. The former implies taking charge, doing with intention, achieving goals – proactive (rational); whereas the other is waiting to see what happens to you and then respond – reactive (irrational).

I really prefer to offer words saying I’m interested in their well-being rather than one of only hoping they can make it through in life.

And for that, I think I’ll Be well.