Spirit Lifters–Day 330 being “Grounded” 1/30/21

I am running out of things to binge-watch on Hulu and Netflix….

I’m not talking about “couch potato” binge-watching. Honest.

It’s mostly for the cat. Honest.

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I recently read the perfect explanation (justification?) for my binge watching on my dear friend’s brand new blog (Lisa Chandler Jewelry)

The Prismflash Studio Construction Zone

She wrote: “…as a jewelry artist of 20+ years, I’ve never had a studio space. I’ve always created jewelry ad hoc on my lap since 1999 when I began. I like having the TV or an audiobook going in the background while I create (tell me a good story!).”

My binge watching is really binge listening. It’s background comfort and distraction noise while I am doing other things…like my covid-craft projects, or paperwork, or culling through a life-time of “stuff” in an effort to use this time wisely. Like continuing my age-appropriate down-sizing.

I sound like a hoarder…and truthfully, I guess I actually am. I save even the most unlikely scraps of memorabilia…you know, just in case. Every photograph, letter, trinket, ticket stub and card, represents something meaningful, an important memory in my life. 

I blame my Grandmother. She saved everything too. Like many in her generation, who survived the (first) “Depression”, she had more rubber bands, and scraps of used tin foil than god.

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When I was a child, and basically had no one else who cared about me, I would spend hours at Gramma’s feet while she did pretty much what I am doing now. And every unlikely saved item she touched had a story. Each time she threw something away, she first thoughtfully caressed it, then reverently told me why she saved it.

And the things she kept, she would carefully wrap or fold before putting in her grandmother’s beautiful, carved wooden “hope chest”. Those things elicited a less emotional and much more fact-filled explanation, her justification really for keeping them. 

“This was your Great Grandmother’s bonnet. She wore this in the covered wagon trip from Missouri to Salt Lake City. This has great historical value.”

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I learned from both categories of her “things”, the trash and the treasures. I learned about our family, our history, our legacy…and, these downsizing events with my grandmother helped me finally understand my Mom.

This whole preventative isolation thing has me thinking about some monumental things; like mortality, aging, and use of my remaining time here…some of it, quite frightening and very painful. I know I am not alone in this…

Thus, the needed relief of instant, focus-shifting, binge-watching in the background.

When I started this Spirit Lifters series, using the word “grounded” in my titles was because that’s what my doctor told me. She said, in her straightforward way, “you are in all the highest risk categories, not just for contracting this virus, but dying from it so if you want to survive, you are grounded for the duration”, as in “Go to your ROOM. You are GROUNDED!” (She barely meant in a humorous way.)

Anyway, I woke up this morning with the profound realization that just as Mother Nature is “culling” our species, maybe even for the planet’s survival, all of this binge-watching, and crafting, and sorting, has provided us all with the perfect background for culling through our own lives….a meaningful distraction from the existential crisis we are all facing.

MLK Quotes

So being grounded by my Doc is exactly what has worked for me to stay “grounded” and centered through easily the most terrifying time in my life…

It was during one of these paper-sorting, binge-watching times I heard this song in the background. It was on, of all things, Bones. (I told you I am running out of things to watch…) At first, I thought it was Bono singing, but it’s Starsailor, a group I barely remember from the early 2000’s. It’s a beautiful, slightly haunting piece. The melody, by association, now grounds me when I hear it…..I hope you enjoy it.



Songwriters: Barry Westhead / Benjamin Byrne / James Stelfox / James Walsh
Some of Us lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

There you have it. I hope, if you have actually read all of this, you will respond with a comment. Tell me what your favorite distraction has been during our year of pandemic.

A plea from a wall-climbing, screaming extrovert, with no one to talk to!!!

🤣

A Photo a Week Challenge: Glass 4/13/2020

I LOVE Glass…all kinds…always have…fascinated from childhood on…blown away at 5 years old, watching a glass blower make little animals at the San Diego Zoo. Started collecting those animals, one Zoo visit at a time…had 50 or so by the time I reached adolescence…fell in love with Cobalt glass eye cups and medicine bottles (after an eye surgery at 6 years old).

At this writing, my collection of blown glass figurines is packed away so no good photos, but here are tiny samples.

 

An addiction you say? Well, probably. Undeniable proof? The Glass Museum in Tacoma is one of my favorite places on the planet, and the fact that I often give a trip to the museum, or a Glass Blowing class (held in a small local studio) as birthday and Christmas gifts!

My collection has become unmanageable, out of control so I had to put myself on Glass Buying Restriction a few years back…

Craig's list stuff 122
crammed into way too small a hutch

 

 

I have combed antique stores, garage sales, swap meets, etc. my whole adult life, and have found some real treasures.

Mostly bottles of all varieties…

But once people who love you, know you have a weakness for something, mine being blue glass, they have a perfect (and easy) way to find gifts for you, so my collection grew from bottles to all things blue.

 

And there have been favorites along the way…too many to show you so I picked these at random

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the tiniest candlestick holders ever!

And this one I thought was an odd candy dish…until I got it home and really looked at it

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It’s actually a “front door”

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If you look closely, you can see hinges and the door handle

 

But really, my favorite use of this Cobalt Collection is designing playgrounds for my BUGS!

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/a-photo-a-week-challenge-glass-2/

Social Distancing??? An Essay (or a journal entry…don’t know which)

This will be a mixed media post with stuff to look at, to listen to, watch, and to read (later, if you wish). I hope it inspires, informs and tickles you.

 

I wrote this in a note to a friend today…

We are living the pages and chapters of future history and philosophy books.
I hope we learn the abundant lessons in our faces right now…for the sake of our grandchildren, and theirs, and theirs….
(Lyrics at bottom of page)
I do understand all the steps and precautions we are needing to take in our communities, our countries, our planet during this Pandemic. I live in the USA’s Ground Zero, and I myself, am in three of the highest risk categories, so I appreciate people being thoughtful in their proximity to me.
But…
Social distancing?? What the hell! Hasn’t technology already been giving us too many tempting examples of that? It’s easier (faster) to text or email someone than to call them. Parents are freaking out about the damage caused by too much screen time for their kids. AND, Distracted driving statistics are horrifying!
Distracted driving deaths

Roughly, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in accidents in which at least one driver was distracted

Heck, there are even patronizing (but wonderful) commercial campaigns on TV against too much social distance created by technology. My favorite is the one where the mom secretly trips the household electrical circuit, shutting off the video games, and forcing the kids to go outside to play basketball. Or the one with two couples, out to a fancy dinner, never looking up from their phones…while texting each other!

 

Many, many years ago now, I was asked to write a review in the Pre and Peri-Natal Psychology Medical Journal, of a book called Untouched by Mariana Caplan. It was a powerful description of what we, as a species, needed to consider in light of the rapid changes happening in human contact, brought about by the age of technology.

Here’s the review, in case you want to read it later…

https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-1380835931/untouched-the-need-for-genuine-affection-in-an-impersonal

(The book has since been re-published under the title To Touch is to Live: The Need for Genuine Affection in an Impersonal World by Mariana Caplan)

 

My feeling today is even though we may be more distant physically, touching each other and looking into each others eyes less, we are potentially, miraculously and profoundly more “in touch” with each other than ever before. 
Or at least we can be.
I have not hugged my best friends in years, but I can tap my phone a few times and be right in the same room with them, face to face, while still 5285 miles across the planet. How amazing is that???
Believe me, I am NOT saying this phone contact is anywhere nearly as satisfying as a bear hug, a snuggle on the couch, or a meaningful look into their eyes, but I have to admit, the alternatives are fairly tolerable….as long as they are balanced by the occasional in-person visit.
And now…”Social Distancing”??? I get it. I hope it saves us, but I feel compelled to issue this precaution. If we have to do this for very long, it can (and will) become the norm for a whole species, making all of our former natural, tactile, kinesthetic expressions of human affection, respect, comradery, kindness, and love seem foreign, suspect, improper, and even dangerous. (Whew! What a sentence! What a THOUGHT!)

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the main photo I use in my therapy practice…

In an exhausting attempt to keep myself grounded in my deepest spiritual beliefs during this global (and personal) crisis, I search each and every day for new perspectives on all of this.
I am including below, some things I have found online (thank you technology) that have been comforting as well as enlightening to me during my already extended period of being “grounded”.
I love reading what Joan Borysenko has to say about things. She is a Harvard Medical School trained cell biologist and licensed psychologist…and one of the more spiritual people I know. She wrote this a few days ago:

Since last week, a lot has happened regarding the novel coronavirus. With the sharp uptick of cases, and the projection that a majority of Americans could be infected, we are now being directed to prepare for the likelihood of staying home much more.

As a psychologist, I am always looking for hidden opportunities within life’s inevitable difficulties. One possible opportunity I see, is to become more mindful of how we react to fear and uncertainty… and to cultivate greater resilience and gratitude for the good things in life.

This immediately made me think of the song Resilient by Rising Appalachia. I post this song often. It is one of my main themes these days. Worth a listen (and a viewing) again.
Pump up your volume and watch it standing up. See if you can do that without bursting into movement yourself!
Then, this also crossed my path. It is actually the thing that shook me out of my own personal “wide spread panic” and got me to remember that the way I was seeing what’s going on in the world was not the only way to look at it.
Blush.
And me, all the time preaching about Chosen Perspectives!!
It came from Facebook (which I am not on) and it had a name on it so I’m going to credit that person.

Amongst all the fear and confusion, there’s this…❤️ a different perspective …

There is so much fear, and perhaps rightfully so, about COVID-19.

And, what if…

If we subscribe to the philosophy that life is always working out for us, that there is an intelligence far greater than humans at work…

That all is interconnected.

What if…

the virus is here to help us?

To reset.
To remember.

What is truly important.

Reconnecting with family and community.

Reducing travel so that the environment, the skies, the air, our lungs all get a break.

Parts of China are seeing blue sky and clouds for the first time in forever with the factories being shut down.

Working from home rather than commuting to work (less pollution, more personal time).

Reconnecting with family as there is more time at home.

An invitation to turn inwards — a deep meditation — rather than the usual extroverted going out to self-soothe.

To reconnect with self — what is really important to me?

A reset economically.

The working poor.

The lack of healthcare access for over 30 million in the US. The need for paid sick leave.

How hard does one need to work to be able to live, to have a life outside of work?

And, washing our hands — how did that become a “new” thing that we needed to remember. But, yes, we did.

The presence of Grace for all.

There is a shift underway in our society — what if it is one that is favorable for us?

What if this virus is an ally in our evolution?

In our remembrance of what it means to be connected, humane, living a simpler life, to be less impactful/ more kind to our environment.

An offering from my heart this morning. Offered as another perspective. Another way of relating to this virus, this unfolding, this evolution.

It was time for a change, we all knew that.

And, change has arrived.

What if…

Gutpreet Gill

 

Thanks for reading this today. More than ever, I’d love to have you comment…share your own experience…connect with others about this.

Last thing about practicing Social Distance

 

 

 

Lyrics to above songs:

Climbing to Safety by Widespread Panic

You tell me love, has always scared you
Like the things under your bed
Baby, we can walk on water
Like some junkies swore they did

You call me on the phone, you say that it is crucial
Stick your fingers in your ears ’til they explode
It’s just business, and it rolls along as usual
Must grab each others collar, we must rise out of the water
‘Cause you know as well as I do that it’s no fun to die alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters
Climb to safety
You never left me in the dark here on my own
Climb to safety
I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder
Climb to safety
I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters
Climb to safety
You never left me in the dark here on my own
Climb to safety
I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder
Climb to safety
I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

Yeah, climb to safety
Ooh, climb to safety, safety
Yeah
Climb to safety

 

Resilient by Rising Appalachia
I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table
Again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen
These times are poignant
The winds have shifted
It’s all we can do
To stay uplifted
Pipelines through backyards
Wolves howling out front
Yeah I got my crew but truth is what I want
Realigned and on point
Power to the peaceful, prayers to the waters
Women at the center
All vessels open to give and receive
Let’s see this system brought down to its knees
I’m made of thunder, I’m made of lightning
I’m made of dirt, yeah
Made of the fine things
My father taught me
That I’m a speck of dust and this world
Was made for me so let’s go and try our luck
I’ve got my roots down down down down down down deep
I’ve got my roots down down down down down down deep
I’ve got my roots down down down deep
I’ve got my roots down down down deep
So what are we doing here
What has been done
What are you gonna do about it
When the world comes undone
My voice feels tiny
And I’m sure so does yours
Put us all together we’ll make a mighty roar
I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen…

Covid 19 Lock Down Survival Kit Saint Patrick’s day, 2020

To start with, one of my favorite musicians, Geoffrey Castle, an electric violinist, who plays everything from hard rock and roll to Irish Ballads, and whose biggest performance of the year is naturally Saint Patrick’s Day, has suggested that tonight, from the safety of our own living rooms, at 7 PM (PST), everyone sing along with The Wild Rover

https://music.geoffreycastle.com/track/wild-rover

He says, “No live stream, no pay per view, nothing all fancy and high tech like that, just a moment in time when all across the land we sing the best Irish Drinking song ever, all together!
Sort of like a St. Patrick’s Flash Mob, except without the “mob” part.
Actual drinking of whiskey is entirely up to you.”

 

Like so many other professions, the need to address current health crisis on our planet has basically eliminated Geoffrey’s income for now. So listen to his stuff and buy something should you feel inspired to…

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Next, I have received so many wonderful emails this week from my clients sharing how they are taking care of themselves while in “Self Quarantine”!! Maybe one will inspire you!!

One couple has banded together with another couple, their best friends, to support each other, and not be alone. Living, working and sharing meals at home.

Another couple writes: “We are both working from home and I just feel a new sense of connection and love between us 🙂 What a time to get that when we get to be stuck together with this new working from home lifestyle!”

Trapped in a New York apartment and working from home, this person says “I’m organizing my apartment, taking long baths, and online shopping.” (This could be dangerous for me personally…Hmm, do I really need 5 of those gaiter neck warmers??)

I LOVE this, a couple who has been struggling so hard to find enough time to keep their relationship healthy says, “We’re hunkered down in our house and oddly this time has actually been good for us even though life is very strange right now. I think cutting out the commute, social planning and resetting has meant slightly less stress and more time for those small moments of joy.”

And in a hard irony, from a newly retired person, is uplifting anyway! “What a time for having to avoid contact with people now that I am (finally) trying to expand my social connections, not limit them.  Oh well.  I have survived pet rocks, disco, gas shortages, big hair bands, grunge and having a reality tv president, so I have hope and faith that I will manage to get through this okay. :-)”

Joan Borysenko

I’ve been finding some very uplifting things and great advice online. One of my favorite “teachers” is Joan Borysenko. She shared this wonderful video a few days ago. About 8 minutes,to help you ground and relax.

Taking the Fear Out of Coronavirus

Joan wrote today: Even amidst this crisis, and all the preparation it entails, we have the ability, perhaps the obligation, to spend a little time looking for the beauty, the goodness and the grace in life. Focusing on the good calms our mind, strengthens our immunity, and it feels wonderful!

 

And lastly, for all the young people still experiencing the blissful belief in immortality, us older folks need you to slow your party roll for just a while, so you don’t expose us to this virus. Just remember:

Your Grandparents were called to war. 

You’re being called to sit on your couch.

You can do this!!

 

So hunker down. DO all the nice things for yourself you rarely have time for. We’ll all wait it out together.

In the mean time…can you CROCHET????

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Veteran’s Day 2019

To some who read my blog, today’s post may seem a bit lazy. But hear me out, OK? I try to write something every year, on both Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, to thank Veterans for their service, and to honor those who gave their lives for their country.

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Mt. Soledad in LaJolla, CA   11/11/2011

This year is no different except that I can’t really think of anything new to say today.

So I am including a few of the posts I already wrote, even though I still don’t know how to make it easy for my reader to simply click and read. I suspect you will have to copy and paste. (Open to feedback here…)

I also realized this year that I have no idea how many of my readers (supposedly, there are an amazing 486 of you) are Veteran’s yourselves.

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View from Mt Soledad

I’d love to hear from any of you willing to share that about yourself. I’d be honored for the chance to thank you for your service to your country, no matter the circumstances (drafted, just needed a job, or a passionate commitment to a cause). And no matter the country.

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Looking at our phone screens, waiting for it to be 11:11 AM on 11/11/11

Please read as many of these posts as you want and I really do appreciate comments of any kind. I want to know I am earning all the attention of all 486 of you.

11/11/18  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/17701

11/11/17  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16142

5/30/16  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/4921

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Right after I said YES!

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11:12 AM on 11/11/11

 

And if you actually read all those others, here’s one, also in honor of today, but way, WAY lighter, I promise!

3/04/18     https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16796

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Hopeful, uplifting songs for today, July 4th, 2019

My favorite patriotic song! Dedicated to Julius and Luca!
I Am a Patriot
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
I was walking with my brother
and he wondered what’s on my mind
I said, What I believe in my soul
ain’t what I see with my eyes
And we can’t turn our backs this time
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my country is all I know
I want to be with my family
people who understand me
I’ve got nowhere else to go
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And I was talking with my sister
she looked so fine
I said, Baby, what’s on your mind
She said, I want to run like the lion
released from the cages
Released from the rages
burning in my heart tonight, yeah
And I ain’t no Communist and I ain’t no Capitalist
And I ain’t no Socialist and I ain’t no Imperialist
And I ain’t no Democrat so I ain’t no Republican
I only know one party and it is freedom
I am, I am, I am
I am a patriot and I love my country
Because my county is all I know
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
Someday
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
And the river opens for the righteous
I want to run like the lion
Released from the cages
Released from the rages
I said what I believe in my soul
Ain’t what I see with my eyes
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
Someday
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Steven Van Zandt
I Am a Patriot lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
And this one too! New to me
Americans
Hold on, don’t fight your war alone
Halo around you, don’t have to face it on your own
We will win this fight
Let all souls be brave
We’ll find a way to heaven
We’ll find a way
War is old, so is sex
Let’s play God, you go next
Heads go up, men go down
Try my luck, stand my ground
Die in church, live in jail
Say her name, twice in hell
Uncle Sam kissed a man
Jim Crow Jesus rose again
I like my woman in the kitchen
I teach my children superstitions
I keep my two guns on my blue nightstand
A pretty young thang, she can wash my clothes
But she’ll never ever wear my pants
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Learned the words from my mom and dad
Cross my heart and I hope to die
With a big old piece of American pie
Love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
Seventy-nine cent to your dollar
All that bullshit from white-collars
You see my color before my vision
Sometimes I wonder if you would fly
Would it help you make a better decision?
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Learned the words from my mom and dad
Cross my heart and I hope to die
With a big old piece of American pie
Just love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
I’m American
Let me help you in here
Until women can get equal pay for equal work
This is not my America
Until same gender loving people can be who they are
This is not my America
Until black people can come home from a police stop
Without being shot in the head
This is not my America
Until poor whites can get a shot at being successful
This is not my America
I can’t hear nobody talkin’ to me
Just love me baby, love me for who I am
Fallen angels singing, “clap your hands”
Don’t try to take my country, I will defend my land
I’m not crazy, baby, naw
I’m American (love me baby)
I’m American (love me for who I am)
Until Latinos and Latinas don’t have to run from walls
This is not my America
But I tell you today that the devil is a liar
Because it’s gon’ be my America before it’s all over
Please sign your name on the dotted line
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Charles D. II Joseph / Janelle Monae Robinson / Jon Webb / Kellis Earl Jr. Parker / Nathaniel III Irvin
Americans lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

SongLyricSunday 3/17/19

 

“You’re watching the official music video for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Teach Your Children” written by Graham Nash. Originally released on the 1970 CSNY studio album “Deja Vu”, “Teach Your Children” is featured on a 2018 Graham Nash career retrospective entitled “Over The Years…” Get a copy here https://rh-ino.co/overtheyears The video is a collaboration between Graham Nash and celebrated filmmaker and animator Jeff Scher. The imagery frames the youth-led liberal activism of 2018 against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and Peace demonstrations of the 1960’s, providing a powerful visual aid to Graham Nash’s relevant-as-ever appeal to teach not only our children but also our parents well. “I wrote Teach Your Children because we have much to teach them. Conversely, I believe we as parents have much to learn from them as well. I think that Jeff Scher did a wonderful job of animating my lyrics and positioning the song in a contemporary setting.” – Graham Nash (2018)”

Teach Your Children

Lyrics

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
Songwriters: Graham Nash
Teach Your Children lyrics © Spirit Music Group

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/spring-break/