Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Sinus Headaches

The weekend has featured sinus pain. I've been so tired too, it's making my ears ring as well. No boxing today, having my heart rate up sounds painful!

Magnolia Clear Sinus tea as my night cap. It helped me make dinner for us both earlier once I realized I had a terrible headache.

I'm working on sending out patches, a really big project. The ongoing efforts to destroy the USPS leave me worried about all the medications I worked so hard to get to mail order. I'm worried about the envelopes in sending this week,

I'm glad I'm taking off some birthday time. I feel so tired all the time.


Marketing Me

I was asked to join the roster of teachers for a 3-day online retreat. I was especially asked to offer a segment on Yoga Therapy for Chronic Pain. Given that's my life story, I'm excited to share this work.

I'm excited to create coursework and student materials. I'm not excited to market myself more than I'm already doing, but I'm doing it anyways.

COVID and trauma therapy were already enough for me to feel less than motivated to make social media posts daily. Then George Floyd was killed, righteous protests began, Portland became a scene of police brutality, and then federal agents showed up & it got even worse.

The feds have left. We're back to homegrown police violence so the protests are less intense.

So I guess I can get back to marketing myself. Yay.


Good News, Anxiety

I heard back from my doctor this morning in response to my letter. I have her permission to continue to explore Intuitive Eating and stop reading, and obsessing about, the saturated fat numbers on all food I consume.

I realized after reading her response that I'd be holding my breath with anxiety this whole time. I was giddy with relief as I started to teach, so I shared that and then did a meditation on the sensations of gratitude and relief in the body.

I've spent much of the day feeling anxious. Being seen, valued, and having my needs met in this way feels good, but also leaves me feeling unsettled. As though my brain can't distinguish between happy excitement and certain dread.

Tomorrow I'll practice really celebrating that I have more good happening with my health even if I've lousy genetics. I'm really grateful for our doctor.


What’s On My List?

Today was Trauma Therapy Tuesday and I shared my realization about the discussion I'm having internally, somatically every night (yesterday's post). I was explaining that adding the 1b) option that reminds me that I'm always allowed to rest, the idea that I need to have accomplished enough to rest is the wrong idea!

My therapist agreed this was interesting, and that calling myself on the wrong thinking of needing to earn my rest is good. Then she blew my mind by asking me, "Is sleep on your list?"

My jaw dropped for a moment, totally giving away the fact that it wasn't even remotely near my list of things I need to do each day.

She's suggested that my list needs to start with sleeping, resting well, then feeding myself, then meditation. Those things always on the list first, and only meditation if I'm feeling like I'm rested and it will do me well. She asked if these were on the list, especially the first two.

"What's first on your list?", she asked.

"Feeding CK. Then feeding the creatures." I also conceded that this has caused many meals where I don't actually have my main dish. I've been so focused on every other living being eating, that I forget myself.

I'm to work on my list.


Insomnia and Me

Every night I have 2 discussions with my Trauma Brain:

1a) I have completed enough tasks that I'm "allowed" to sleep.
1b) I'm always allowed to rest, 1a is wrong.

2) Sleeping is safe.

Yoga helps lots, I mediate or do some kind of physical practice. Often both.

Hot showers, just got out of one. Water is very helpful to me.

For many years I want aware of my fear of sleeping. Like many emotional states, I experienced the fear somatically. So much of my trauma is before cognitive integration was available to my brain, so I just don't feel right.

These days of pandemic and protests against police violence have made it harder to convince my body that I'm safe. When I feel less safe, my critical self spends a great deal of time telling me to go do the dishes, clean the floors, deal with the blackberries, catch up on email, finish the taxes, make a budget, defrost the freezer.....

And that's just taking a few seconds to transcribe my inner list of things I must do before resting, playing, creating art, etc.


In Which Everything Feels Catastrophic

I was going to write about how grounding teaching was today against the news that local police spent the night escalating violence. Again.

I was going to expand on the unintended art of a melted canister reflecting back how yesterday made me feel.

Then there was a small explosion in the neighborhood. The boom woke up CK. I saw the flash of it while working on my art journal. I investigated outside a little, but w we were left with the belief that some asshole must have set off a firework.

Until I came upstairs just before midnight to a terrible whine. I tensed at it and went through the house turning off fans, trying to trace it. As i got to the bathroom I saw flashing, amber lights.

Upon going outside with CK’s halal on I discovered power company workers with a bucket truck. I was able to discover the earlier explosion was a fuse going out, the part of the neighborhood across the street were without power!

This all woke up CK for the third time tonight. We’re both pretty wired, her brain got really worried hearing me leave the house with male voices and noise.

I’m struck at how quickly our brains expect the worse. 2020 keeps providing catastrophes, another seems plausible. I was expecting to find a car accident. I’m rather grateful to be wrong AND the explosion has been explained!


Taxes, Cops, and COVID

We've been trying to get caught up on our taxes and at the end of last year we'd got 2016 filled and paid.

Or so we thought.

Several years ago we both experienced identify theft around taxes. As a result, we have PINs issued each year and getting behind has meant they expired and we had to send in a paper copy.

Later this winter we received a letter stating we had to verify our identification before they can accept the paper copy. Then COVID happened and the offices closed up.

I’ve been trying off and on for a while. This morning I tired again.

I eventually got to someone after getting disconnected repeatedly on the number the letter said to call. I’d tired another number on a different letter saying we now have a credit.

I was ultimately told to try the number that says it’s having technical difficulties and disconnecting me. That our make an appointment to go in person in an office located in the Federal Building.

If it’s open. I should risk COVID exposure to enter a building that’s currently boarded up and surrounded by both federal and local cops dressed in riot gear.

I got a lot upset. Thankfully CK came upstairs to give me hugs and support.

There was freshly harvested salad for dinner, so that was good. I’m really grateful for the last two things.


Koans and Other Tools

I had a lot of moments of just staring off at nothing today.

I read something about American passports, which once were a guarantee of access, are nearly useless now. We're a plague state. I felt trapped here and was grateful when I shared this fear with CK that sure took me seriously.

I'm grateful for all the times she takes me seriously. I have been told so often that I'm overreacting or being too dramatic. All that was gaslighting, but I'm still so grateful when I'm not dismissed.

The federal cops are in Portland because the President sent them. Local cops hasn't already sufficiently brutalized there population.

I thought about the koan about chopping wood and carrying water. Before and after enlightenment, same thing.

Chop wood, carry water.

Making meals, folding laundry, pulling weeds, washing dishes. Just do the tasks that need doing.


Everybody Mask

Statewide mandate came out today that everyone, everywhere across Oregon must wear masks. There's a lot of anger. I'm sure there must be others, like us, who are relived.

Saw my doctor online today. We backed off the plan to begin tapering off my antidepressant medication. 2020 is not the year to change that since I'm having days where it feels physically difficult to move.

Aside from bouts of depression and anxiety in response to the times were living in, my mental health feels better. My health is better than it has been in a long while; sheltering in place has curative powers.


Cleaning Up

Today began when Obie woke me up at 6:14. That was after a chilly night because I’d discovered our elder dog had peed on our bed and stripped off all the blankets at 2:20.

I got a lot of chores done today after yesterday’s gardening efforts. I have many moments where I feel like such a failure when it comes to the house. We’re getting better, but it still feels terrible sometimes and I really dislike not being able to physically push myself to go all out.

There’s Sunday lull in the death rate from COVID, only 504 since Saturday. We’re well over 125,000 people who have died, over 2.5 million infected, and so many Republicans are still fighting to get get rid of the Affordable Care Act.