Thursday, March 30, 2017

Making Peace with Maturity

Learning lessons is a little like reaching maturity. 
You're not suddenly more happy, wealthy, or powerful, 
but you understand the world around you better, and you're at peace.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 

 I believe that maturity is not an outgrowing, but a growing up: 
that an adult is not a dead child, but a child who survived. 
Ursula K. Le Guin

I like saying that at age 20, I was an amoeba of who I am today. I have grown by leaps and bounds in mind, body and spirit since then. I have come such a long way.

And yet, who I am has been there all along - it has just taken me this long to uncover her. It's like we are born whole and spend the rest of our lives trying to remember that - returning home to wholeness. 

I see my younger self and I am grateful for what I know now. I wish I had known it then, of course. So I take full advantage of every bit of wisdom. 

For me, growing into wholeness has meant relaxing my parent part - the part that drove me to be responsible and disciplined - and encouraging the baby part to come out to play more. 

My relentless parent part helped me to achieve important goals but if allowed to reign supreme indefinitely, then my life would certainly become joyless.

My neglected baby part was highly restrained. The only indulgence allowed was in the area of food consumption. That took a toll on my body.

I am old enough (thankfully) to live a life in greater balance, to become as I was meant to be.

I feel like I have always been 65 inside and chronologically catching up to that age. Most of my life I have been overly responsible - even taking on problems that weren't mine. That took a toll.  For me, growing up has meant taking on less responsibility for others and more responsibility for myself.

Aging is a series of gains and losses. I grieve and mourn what has been lost. I appreciate what I am gaining. 

I play more. 
I accept myself more. 
I'm more honest with myself.
I take responsibility and pay more attention to my feelings and needs.
I take less and less responsibility for others.
I am more and more loving to myself.
I take baby steps followed by naps.
I am intuitive and trust my instincts. 
I am not as naive but I am not cynical. I ask myself, "What's their angle and what's in my best interest?"
I see the good and the bad - because both exist side by side.
I empathize.
I follow the green lights and go with the flow more.
I take chances within limits.
I trust that things tend to work out.





Thursday, March 23, 2017

Indigenizing

Indigenize everything.

Indigenize the way we eat, the way we move, the way we live, what we believe...

We have 50,000 years of ancestor wisdom and it is not just "old-wives tales" or superstitious or "unscientific." It is time-tested and hard-won knowledge that is our birthright - ours to claim.

Bringing our whole selves and honoring our ancestors in everything we do - love, work, and play.
It's all sacred and powerful.

https://nccih.nih.gov/

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy Spring Equinox



Spring Equinox

Night and day stand in perfect balance.
Ying and Yang.
Complementary forces.
Shadow cannot exist without light.
Life in balance.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Peace

I have no need for lies because I am not ashamed of anything (anymore).

I'm not ashamed of who I am.
I'm not ashamed of anything I do.

If I do something, I refuse to be ashamed.
If I think I will be ashamed after doing something, then I refuse to do it.

We are light and shadow.
I accept & love my whole self now.

The adult part regularly decides how to manage and express the sexual and aggressive baby part impulses with the principles and rules of the parent part.

Put simply, I'm an adult making choices - it's a terribly beautiful freedom.

I'm thankful that after a lifetime, I have learned to manage impulses and soothe my distress in ways that don't hurt me or the people I care about.

Both the baby and the parent parts need time in the sun. That's what makes us whole, real, integrated, mature, and sexy.

Without lies, life is peaceful.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

NASW Legislative Lobby Days in Sacramento, 2017

"In service - in relationship - to achieve higher levels of justice." Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman

CSUN MSW students on the road to Lobby Days, 2017

This is the largest Lobby Days ever: nearly 1,400 participants from 26 schools:



Assembly member, Susan Talamantes Engman, MSW, LCSW, PhD, encouraged us to practice as integrated as possible (micro, mezzo, macro) and address the larger issues that are producing pain among the vulnerable and oppressed. As social workers, she urges us to amplify the stories of our clients in order to influence policies. She warns us to not be addicted to our outrage, but to use our outrage for something good. People are afraid and worried about scarcity ("there's not enough for everybody") so we need to preach the gospel that there's enough for all of us.

NASW (National Association of Social Workers), National Vice-President, Mildred C. Joyner, MSW, LCSW told us that when we come across something beautiful and rare, we ought to take a moment and look at it - then she took a picture of all of us. She reminded us that "we are America's conscience and we must be vocal" and that we "can't heal our frustrations by blaming others."

There are 680,000 social workers in the U.S.
There are 130,000 NASW members.
There are 25,000 social work students.
That's a lot of power ready to be unleashed.



Monday morning we will be meeting with California assembly members and senators to lobby for three bills:

Senate Bill (SB) 219 (Wiener) - LGBT Senior Bill of Rights

  • This bill aims to combat the discrimination of LGBT Seniors in long-term care facilities.

SB 8 (Beall) - Mental Health: Pre-Trial Diversion

  • Diversion options result in extremely low recidivism rates among participants and significant cost saving to counties. Community based treatment for a mentally ill defendant costs $20,000 and greatly reduces recidivism, while jailing the same defendant (with a greater risk of recidivism) costs the community more than $50,000 a year.

SB 54 (De León) The California Values Act

  • The purpose of this bill is to protect the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, and ultimately hurt California's economy.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hunches Essential in Science

I believe that scientists tap into the transcendental force for inspiration much like artists, musicians, writers and mystics.

In Approaches to Social Enquiry, Blaikie quotes, "The transition from data to theory requires creative imagination. Scientific hypotheses and theories are not derived from observed facts, but invented in order to account for them."

When you get results in a study, the results don't come out and tell you what they mean. They are very Joe Friday - just the facts, ma'am. The researcher has to make sense of them, usually based on their lens, experiences, background, knowledge base and theory.

And, "...there can be no set of rules given for the procedure of scientific discovery - a hypothesis is not produced by a deductive machine by feeding experimental observations into it: It is a product of creative imagination, of a mind which absorbs the experimental data until it sees them fall into a pattern, giving the scientific theorist the sense that he [sic] is penetrating beneath the flux of phenomena to the real structure of nature."
Sometimes I get my hunches in the shower or driving or in the early morning upon waking or (my favorite) when I'm out for a long walk.

And, "...every discovery contains an 'irrational element' or a 'creative intuition.' "

Srinivasa Ramanujan was a mathematician who produced math formulas that came to him in dreams from a Hindu goddess. He had very little math training but wound up at Cambridge thanks to those dreams and goddess.

And, "Hesse...stressed the role of creative imagination, as well as logic, in the process of scientific discovery."
Hunches are essential and integral to discovery. Hypotheses and logic are like yin and yang, the forest and the trees, left and right brain working together.
And, "In all these cases, because causal structures and/or mechanisms had never been observed, it was necessary first to imagine what they might be like, and then to formulate these ideas into some image or model."
You step back from the painting or the study and let the a-ha moment of inspiration guide you, if you trust enough to listen and wait for it.
Also, in describing the deductive process used by a clinician, Blaikie quotes: "Here there is a rapid reciprocation between an imaginative and critical process."

Daniel Gilbert in Stumbling Upon Happiness notes that imagination is what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

I see a lovely pattern here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Deep Sea Fishing with TM

David Lynch has been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) for over 30 years. This practice has inspired him to write:

"If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. 
But if you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deeper.
Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. 
They're huge and abstract. 
And they're very beautiful...
For me it has been the way to dive deeper in search of the big fish." 

He meditates twice a day - morning and afternoon - for twenty minutes each time. He describes his results:

"I find that the joy of doing increases. Intuition increases. The pleasure of life grows. And negativity recedes."

I can't borrow books from the library or other people because I write all over them when I read. In my book, "Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity" by David Lynch, the quotes above are each followed by a big 💗drawn in black pen. This book is full of them.

"Anger and depression and sorrow are beautiful things in a story, but they're like poison to the filmmaker or artist. They're like a vise grip on creativity...You must have clarity to create. You have to be able to catch ideas."💕


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Falling

Before falling in love for the second time in your life, you wonder if it will feel the same as the first time. You wonder if falling in love again is even possible.

Spending time, eating, eye gazing, smiling, dimple gazing, listening, understanding, talking, silliness and full-throated laughter, reading each other's minds - in a good way, marveling at beautiful things, dancing, reading aloud at brunch, holding hands, and having fun is a recipe for attachment.

I tend to rationalize that I can walk away at any time - which is true but in various degrees of painful.
I'm warned that I'm playing with fire but proceed cavalierly.
"I won't fire until I see the whites of their eyes," I reasoned.
Not everything that is logical is true.
Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants (el corazón no se manda) and reason is powerless.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hopelessly attached.

I fell with naïve abandon.
The feelings bubbled up and made me smile from my brown eyes to my painted-red toes.
I covered my face from embarrassment.
I bit my knuckled fists with overwhelmed exasperation.
I smiled at the thought of it while doing the most mundane of things, like sitting up super straight at work or copying and pasting.
I still register the feeling in my cells.

We have a right to all of our thoughts and feelings.
All feelings are normal and natural.
The thing to do when you have a feeling is to notice it and accept it, without judgement.
Feelings are ephemeral and transient - they will pass.
This too shall pass.

I fell hard and it didn’t work out.
I don’t push away the feelings anymore.
I accept I will feel this way for however long it takes.
Just because you fall doesn’t mean you have to stay.
You can love yourself and expect things like honesty and commitment.

I fell.
I feel lucky to have fallen, no matter how painful.
Relationships come with risks and there are no guarantees.
Risking heartbreak is the price of admission to any relationship, without which, life has no color.
Whether it lasts twenty years or one year, the gains and losses are bittersweet.
Relationships are the point of this life so I'm gonna take my chances, again.
Wiser now but not cynical and no longer so naïve.
They say the third time's a charm.