Podcast: Sharon Salzberg “Do the good that’s in front of you, even if it feels very small.”

1. Tim Ferriss is sexy (AND bald😎), damn smart.
2. This is #sohuman and great applicable tips.
3. Trust a sis

melanie sakowski on Twitter: “everyone struggles w meditation: self compassion in forgiving ourselves for it IS the practice #damngoodpodcast @SharonSalzberg #metta 
https://t.co/C4sKOhM6wG

https://dfkfj8j276wwv.cloudfront.net/episodes/505397f9-8b1b-4747-b509-06cb97ab28f5/5e1f0b1881210d04574e89968f2c9eeeb90076ab3f5fd5f268d7765f700d4e04b44eb9a3f6b372584ad9980c26e180a32f21142418bb588d33465dae74bb6e10/The%20Tim%20Ferriss%20Show%20-%20Sharon%20Salzberg.mp3

Comparative Suffering

“Let’s compare scars and see who’s is worse.”

That’s a song lyric I remember.  I’ve been humming on this for some time, especially in this stage of accepting trauma.

A couple of trauma definitions:

Trauma:  any situation that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope.

“Trauma is a breach in the protective barrier against stimulation leading to feelings of overwhelming helplessness.” – Sigmund Freud 

I love the above definition that I heard while watching a podcast from Molly Boeder Harris because it can relate to any barrier; emotional, physical, mental, that makes us feel like we’ve been robbed of our sense of safety within ourselves.  It’s a breach into our sacred space that people shouldn’t be coming into.   This breach affects the brain and leads to a specific set of symptoms: trauma.

These definition encompasses so many things; from sexual abuse (a subjective experience), to surgery, to parents who weren’t able to attend to their child’s needs, to bullying, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, birth trauma (for both baby and parents), loss, a physical injury, natural disaster, witnessing horrific events/violence (often invalidated by the person experiencing, because they justify that it didn’t happen to them), etc.

What is especially important here is that the physiological response is very real, and the experience is subjective.  Molly talks about a book called “The Body Keeps the Score”, and the title in itself is enough to explain how the body keeps in it the trauma, muscle memory is so real (ever get some kind of massage, or move in a certain way, go in a stretch, and have “a case of the feels”?).  The body remembers trauma, deep in our tissues, whether we know it or not, it stores it inside our subconscious.

Did you know that it wasn’t until up until the 80/90’s that babies weren’t administered anaesthesia because it was believed that they didn’t feel pain?  The body remembers that.

One of the questions answered in this podcast was about whether there was a gage of trauma severity: to see if one traumatic experience was worse than another.  (to which Molly applauded and expressed was a passionate topic of hers to discuss).

Trauma is trauma: Molly explains, “We’ve created a hierarchy within our understanding of trauma which has neglected a lot of people’s needs and leads to a lot of self-blame, shame, of  ‘Well, I didn’t go to war…all I did was have a really terrible surgery, so why am I so messed up, it could’ve been so much worse, what happened to me!?'”

Or with sexual abuse, maybe there was only verbal harassment not contact, but the person has all of the symptoms of someone who was raped.

With trauma, it’s not about the event, but how the person experienced the event, what resources were or were not available after the event, what was the relationship to the person or the environment.  All these factors matter, not only the main traumatic event.

One trauma is not comparable to another.  One is not “worse” than another.  It’s so unique to each person’s experience.

This is big for me because I often invalidate my own experience of trauma, and so many other people do too.  This is why we get stuck inside the trauma and this is why I’m having a time moving forward: it’s hard to acknowledge my trauma (I’m having a hard time even writing this.)  But it’s time.

So that’s that.  No trauma is worse than another; the physiological and psychological expressions in the body are the same.  So here’s a cheers to compassion for all.

Myself included.

 

What’s the fear?

tupac.jpgYesterday my roommate and I sat, chatted, deep, and sipped some wine.  She said some things that’ll stick with me to my grave.  My relentless resilience is powerful beyond measure. (if I were secure in this knowledge, I wouldn’t have to write this in my post though, hey?)

Straight up, she asked me, “What are you afraid of?”

My mind goes vague with that answer.

I have no words to explain my answer, but I have these feelings and observations in my space:

Angela Quick is inspiring,
My body is tiring,
My mind’s got ego-firing,
I choose myself for hiring. (making a website and it’s going live soon, catering privately, as I eat chickpeas I’ll cook chickpeas and make myself healthy and you too, wha eva you liiiii I cook pho yew!)

I deserve to feel fresh,
We all need some rest,
Take in nourishment to digest,
And thank “God” were blessed.

Happiness isn’t “in” BC,
But wild, my soul-plea’s,
I’m strengthening my knees,
And like good coffee(s).

Here’s a recipe:

Waking up grateful + Trusting + Self-compassion = grounded shit
What’s this?
Lady
Don’t you know we love ya? Sweet lady
Place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated
Don’t ya know we love ya? (say this to [my]yourself)

Thirsty? Sip champagne.
Hungry? Maybs I’m insane
In my membrane?
What do you mean?
Is it too late now to say sorry?
Naw, B, you too bootylicious,
Stick to the rivers and the lakes,
But don’t use somebody,
We all need somebody to love,
See no changes?
Wake up in the morning and I aks (accidental typo but great so leaving) myself,

Why not me?
Why not now?

Sitting at Starbucks right now and some guy sits down and he’s like “Oh shit” (the sbucks at Dundas W and Bloor….sketchy but whatevs) and I sayz to him “What?”

Him: “oh the news”

Me: “Ya…I get the news I need on the weather report….and also just heard about Irma yesterday…” (ignorance or naivety?)

Isn’t it funny that we look at the shits in life?  I think it’s a survival tactic – like, we observe if there’s danger about us as a survival tactic that just stuck.  But the good feels so much nicer to observe.

“Kind”‘s a sweeter word,
Another rad woman is Emelie Forsberg,
(Her name has both “Mel” in it, and “Berg—Burg….sorryvegans – it’s a win for therestivus)
Funday Festivas,
This post is fuelled on coffee and makes little sense but lots too.

Namasthe

Where I’m at Now

There are so many stories about post-recovery from dis-ease, and here’s one for the now of dis-ease. Being in The Storm is meritable, valid and crucial. The “in-shit”, not the “aha”that comes through healing. What about the pain in healing? I’ve struggled with eating disorders of all sorts for years. I am currently in a bout of depression, keeping afloat, finding peace within me, tempted by escapism and distraction albeit, but aided through therapy to return to the source, myself, to heal.

Lack of self-love and compassion are so harmful, especially when cultivated compoundedly, and one day, they avalanche into presence, and you don’t know how they built up because you can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s so easy to continue with routine and avoidance, but half a life is not Life, not My Life.

There is so much wonderful information about the recovery process and causes of eating disorders. My roots lie in lack of self-love, lack of meaningful self-attachment, lack of self-purpose and pain avoidance as a form of survival. Ultimately, I’m “holding on”, attempting at an obtuse way to control where I feel I am out of control in other aspects of life. I’ve read Pema Chodron’s book “When things fall apart” recently, and her theme is that of groundlessness. This is the essence of life, not grasping on to solidity, not striving for consistency or any form of permanence. To breathe though all the shit and be. I have to believe that I am worth nurturing, worth thriving, worth a whole life.

Eating disorders, after all, are never about the food. With the visible symptoms of weight and food, it’s so easy to falsely blame source, but symptoms aren’t cause. Like Eastern medicine; Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine both reach for the sources of illness, which lie deep within. Oh fuck, that’s The Work. In the Now. Right now, I had a controlled morning, a controlled breakfast, a controlled schedule. I have been doing 60 min spins on my indoor trainer since returning from my Vipassana 10-day silent meditation course (of which I stayed 3 days because #O#%*@&#$!!!!). I was doing little runs, like I had done in New Zealand, but my body wasn’t accustomed to the pavement and Brimley hill, and spoke in form of a calf strain. Body isn’t recovering well because I stand in the way via not loving myself enough to properly treat my whole self. And so, I spin first thing in the morning. I woke up hungry, and rode through it after taking a Ginseng shot from Xiaolan, a Chinese Medicine goddess in Toronto (an inspirational woman to my being, to the Healer I will become as I heal myself). Breakfast was a “smoothie bowl” with Vega pro and peanut butter, but so diluted because man, ultimately, a damn protein powder smoothie bowl isn’t real food to my body. Real food is how I will intuit my needs and properly fuel, instead of monotonously following routined habit because it is “safe”. This is fear based, because I am afraid of leaving the safe level of comfort with myself that I’ve chosen. The “safe” liking of myself that dictates the set point at which I choose to live my life and treat myself day in- to day end. Wow, fuck eh. That’s it. The thermostat switch needs to change right thur.

I am slowly doing little acts of self-care, and believing that I deserve it. Fuck all this hippie spiritual non-consumerism sometimes because I really feel good in my new silk dress (although as I love myself more, my ass will look more apple-bummed and nicely “jolly” in it). I give myself the space to be human in this lifetime, in this consumerist age. It doesn’t mean that I am less spiritually grounded or rubbish like that. Although I’ve taken a break from social media; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all of which I had abused and was blinded into thinking that those relationships were real, when really they were void-filling. I see that these resources can be tools, just as Mind is a tool. My left hand pines for the phone to scroll on insta while eating, but I am reminding myself constantly to “use my mind” instead. Mindfully respect myself and food while I eat. I see how I treat food as a void filling my attachment needs (to self, to others, to purpose), and it is so easy to fall into habit of self-blinding when it hurts the most to accept where I am at, right NOW. Fuck, right now I have a bit of indigestion, and want to expend my being into something, to FEEL, and so I write. I am a little bloated after breakfast, because I know my set-point of Self-love has been hyper-vigilantly controlled after my morning spin – it’s like I am now able to maintain that “threshold pace” for the day after starting on that note. I am close to changing, to choosing Yoga in the morning instead of spinning. My legs are so tired from spinning and I don’t enjoy it. I love running, and want to heal so that I can run and do it out of enjoyment rather than compulsivity. To settle in the groundlessness of not knowing how the world will be tomorrow, maybe I run, maybe I don’t.   To love myself enough to trust in the adaptation process. To have my drives stem from a place of utterly compassionate self-love and a deep desire for self-care. That’s why I didn’t aimlessly walk around today, aimlessly trek downtown, aimlessly take my laptop to the plaza’s lib or employment services centre to punch out this post or to distractedly read or scroll though twitter feed. To side-tab endlessly at Craigslist job postings that I deep down know aren’t pursposed for me right now, healing is priority. I am so keen to help others and be of service, but see this at the time as a way to distract myself from healing Me. As I heal, I will be able to help so much, to give, to work, to be around others at this vibrational level in a balance of giving, receiving, wholesomely. It’s 10:17am, and in my head I know I’m counting down the time until lunch, kind of. I see how I fill my time with emptying and filling, as a means to play out a supposed life in the set-point I am at. I wish to raise my self-love set-point. I am starting with breath and awareness.

No phone at the table.

Compassionate shoulder-melting

Finding my “still-pointed awareness” prior to meals

Connecting, meaningfully to others that uplift me

Seeking inspiration from other Wild Women

Slowly letting go; cultivating curiosity with letting go of my “anchors” that aren’t serving me

Using muscle testing when I am uncertain of my path

Trusting that the universe has my back

Petting Cleocatra

Dear little Melanie,

I love you,

I’m sorry,

Please forgive me,

Thank you.