Testing 1-2-3…4…5…6…

I’m learning a lot about myself through this experience; that’s for sure.

I’ve learned that I’ve always had the fantasy that being with the right person would bring stability and happiness.

I panic and get anxious when I’m on my own.

In my meditation practice, trying to learn to not grasp or cling to those things that are impermanent, I have a stash back in the closet of my mind that I don’t include in that exercise.

I can focus on “being in the moment”, and immediately thereafter rush like a fool to try to establish some sort of security for the future.

Yoga, meditation, and the quiet of the woods I live in are sustaining me now.

The more I learn about myself and life, the more I realize how much I don’t understand.

We’re all in the same boat.  And sometimes it capsizes and sinks.  Learning how to swim is important.

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Marriage bounty: Tycoon offers $65 million

If you’re determined, as I am, to never get married again…  Would you for a price?

Since Hong Kong property billionaire Cecil Chao, known in the tabloid media for his prolific womanizing, dangled a $65 million reward for any man able to lead his daughter, Gigi Chao, down the aisle, she says she’s been bombarded by marriage proposals from strangers, date requests, and even an offer from a Hollywood film producer to buy her story.

via Marriage bounty: Tycoon offers $65 million for a man to wed his lesbian daughter – CSMonitor.com.

» Finding Peace with Uncertainty :zenhabits

So how do we get good at change? Some suggestions that are working for me (I’m still learning):

Try something new, but small and safe. New things can be scary because we’re afraid we’re going to fall on our faces. But if it’s something small — learning to juggle beanbags in our living room, learning to balance on a rope that’s close to the ground, listening to a language-learning podcast, for example — it’s not as scary. There’s no real risk of getting hurt. And the more we do this, in small, non-scary steps, the more confidence we’ll gain that new things are not painful.

When you mess up, don’t see it as painful failure. When you’re doing new things, there will be times when you make mistakes, mess up, “fail”. But these words are associated with negative things, like pain … instead, start to look at mistakes and “messing up” as something positive — it’s the only way to learn. Messing up is a way to get better at something, to grow, to get stronger.

See the wonder and opportunity in change. Change might mean leaving a comfort zone, and losing something (or someone) you love, but there’s much more: it’s the bringing of something new and amazing, a new opportunity to explore and learn and meet new people and reinvent yourself. When change happens, look for the wonder in it, the new doors that have opened.

Ask “what’s the worst-case scenario”? If you’re exposing yourself, getting out of your comfortable environment, leaving behind security … it can be scary, but when you think about what is the worst thing that is likely to happen, usually it’s not that bad. If you lost all your possessions today in a disaster, how bad would that be? How would you cope? What opportunities would there be? What new things could you invent from this blank slate?

Develop a change toolset. Learn how to cope with changes, no matter what they are. Have a fall-back plan if things collapse. Have friends and family you can call on. Develop some skills where you can get a job or start a new business no matter what happens with your current job or the economy. Learn ways of making friends with strangers, finding your way around a strange city, surviving on little. With a toolset like this, you can feel confident that you can handle just about anything that comes.

Become aware of your clinging. Watch yourself clinging to something when you feel fear and pain. What are you clinging to? Often it’s just an idea — the idea of you and a romantic partner, an image of who you are. Become aware of what’s going on.

See the downsides of clinging. Once you see your clinging more clearly, see the pain that results from it. If you’re clinging to your stuff, see the space it takes up, and the extra rent that costs you … see the mental energy it takes to live with all the stuff, the money you’ve spent on it, the lack of space you have to live. Anything you cling to has a downside — we only see the good side of it, and so we want to cling to it.

Experience the joy in the unknown. When something new happens, when you don’t know — we often see this as bad. But can we re-frame it so that it’s something joyful? Not knowing means we are free — the possibilities are limitless. We can invent a new path, a new identity, a new existence. This can be joyful.

via » Finding Peace with Uncertainty :zenhabits.

Divorce and Anxiety: Don’t Forget the Dog

Our trainer has a special interest in separation anxiety as a result of her own personal experience. One of her dogs, Nacho, a siberian husky, had this behavioral problem. Nacho’s distress when left alone was “full blown” and he would bark non-stop, injure himself, break out of crates, vomit and defecate when confined in either a crate or room alone. When she first acquired Nacho in the early 90’s, Veronica successfully modified Nacho’s behavior problem. Nacho was, after several weeks of behavior modification, able to be confined calmly at her home.

Nacho later passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and worked as a therapy dog at local nursing homes. Veronica’s success with Nacho led to colleagues referring similar cases to her. She has since successfully helped many owners address their own dog’s separation anxiety and is referred to by area veterinarians for this common behavioral problem.

A few facts about separation anxiety:

  • This is a behavior problem that is particularly common in dogs that have been adopted from shelters and rescue groups.
  • Not all barking and destructive behavior is “separation anxiety.” Dogs may bark, engage in destructive behavior or house soil for many different reasons.
  • Every case of separation anxiety is unique. Some dogs cannot be crated at all as the confinement triggers even more panic. Other dogs are more calm in a crate. Some dogs have very severe problems while other dogs may show some milder signs.
  • Many people who contact us with dogs that have separation anxiety have recently had a major change in their living situation or home that triggers the behavior. For example, they may have moved, implemented a home renovation or recently had a divorce.

Separation anxiety is potentially very serious. Dogs can be injured or worse if they are extremely anxious.

via Dog Separation Anxiety Help in Northern Virginia.

People Who Live Alone Never Feel Judged

People who live alone, without roommates or romantic partners, feel free to be you and me, without suffering under the judgmental eye of society. They do things they might not do if they lived with other people, according to a New York Times article that brings those “quirky” habits  (or, as they are alternately titled “Secret Single Behavior”) to the attention of the judgmental eye of society.

For instance, they pee with the door open. They sing Journey while they shower. They leave lingerie on the kitchen table. They become extremely set in their ways. They eat weird things, at weird times. They wear unattractive clothing, like a pair of “white flax bloomers.”

They talk to someone or something — often a pet — that doesn’t talk back. Now, we’re willing to acknowledge that living alone is a distinct experience that breeds distinctive characteristics, but replace “pet” with “partner,” and many of those sound an awful lot like things that people in long-term, cohabiting relationships do.

In fact, our favorite secret alone behavior in the article came from a guy who lives with his girlfriend, 29-year-old Chad Griffith. As anyone with roommates well knows, when alone time is a treat, you enjoy it to the hilt. Griffith calls these moments The Days of Chad, and he really does it up.

“I’ve been known to drink Champagne in the shower at 8 a.m.,” Mr. Griffith said. “I’ll play Madden NFL Football for 10 hours straight, eat a French bread pizza for every meal of the day.”

But living alone is a skill that takes management, and Mr. Griffith has found he isn’t very good at it. The Days of Chad, he said, are about all he can handle.

“I literally have zero self-control,” he said. “If I lived alone and didn’t have somebody to monitor me, I’d be a fat, out-of-work alcoholic.”

Cheers, Chad!

via People Who Live Alone Never Feel Judged — Daily Intel.

Anxiety and Divorce

One piece of advice I offer to any friend who has recently gone through a divorce is to turn off his emotions. If you thought your ex-spouse was the enemy, he is nothing compared to the enemy within if you cannot control it. You thought you experienced as much pain as you could bear – my friend, it’s just starting if you can’t WILL it to stop.

A divorce opens and re-opens many wounds. They cannot easily be healed during the divorce process. And once it is over, our bodies crave the healing. They want peace; they want understanding; they want joy; they want love. But while these are in need of healing, we very easily accept partial healing. Our emotions need TOTAL healing, but we easily accept physical healing, not considering the spiritual healing that is also necessary. Using our human senses, we want perceived healing, but we fail to use our spiritual senses to will, again, to GIVE healing. Our human bodies easily betray our spiritual will, and certainly our society encourages this – to take what you “deserve”, and to satisfy your every sensual craving. And our cravings after a divorce are immense. We NEED healing. And we want it now. And when something or someone provides a balm to our wounded emotions, there is simply no other way to describe it: it feels good.

But is it?

A person found dying in the desert can kill himself with too much water, joyfully drinking too quickly. A teenager who is the last of his friends to finally get a driver’s license can kill himself in his newfound joyful freedom – and inattention. And a divorced person seeking to heal his many, many wounds, can kill himself, too, through seeking to appease his natural longing for healing.

The simplest, wisest thing you can do as a newly divorced person is to will to turn off your emotions. All of them. Don’t be angry, don’t be irritated, don’t be sad. Don’t be happy, don’t be deliriously laughing, don’t be joyful. Don’t find undue peace with spiritual things. All these things are irritants or salves to your human emotions, but you need time to get your spiritual emotions healed to balance these physical ones. And spiritual growth, or healing, does not come quickly. I always recommend an arbitrary timeline of one year. Turn off your emotions for a year to allow them to heal. This doesn’t mean you should never be angry, irritated, sad, happy, joyful, or laugh, or should never pray to God. Besides being impossible to totally eliminate these emotions, it would make you impossible to be around. But what you can to is to eliminate relishing, dwelling in, and seeking to stoke these emotions – using them as a crutch to “feel” healed of your wounds. Or to somehow feel “justified” in your divorce.

via Do Not Be Anxious: For The Divorcing and Newly Divorced.