Smitten with Him

grown-up stuff happens here sometimes

The Energies Inside Us

To restore its equilibrium, the brain tries to quiet our sensitized, trauma-related memories by pushing us to have repetitive, small “doses” of recall. It seeks to make a sensitized system develop tolerance. And, in many cases, this works. In the immediate aftermath of s distressing or traumatic event we have intrusive thoughts: we keep thinking about it when we don’t want to, we often tell and retell the event to trusted friends or loved ones. Children will re-enact the events in play, drawings and their daily interactions. The more intense and overwhelming the experience, however, the harder it becomes to “desensitize” all of the trauma-related memories.

From The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook
by Bruce D. Perry, PhD and Maia Szalavitz.

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Monday Motivation: Water

water

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The Empty Boat by Chuang Tzu

copied from The Daily Zen, but I got the idea from a post on Om Swami

destroyed

He who rules men lives in confusion;
He who is ruled by men lives in sorrow.
Yao therefore desired
Neither to influence others
Nor to be influenced by them.
The way to get clear of confusion
And free of sorrow
Is to live with Tao
In the land of the great Void.

If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty.
He would not be shouting, and not angry.

If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.

The straight tree is the first to be cut down,
The spring of clear water is the first to be drained dry.
If you wish to improve your wisdom
And shame the ignorant,
To cultivate your character
And outshine others;
A light will shine around you
As if you had swallowed the sun and the moon:
You will not avoid calamity.

A wise man has said:
“He who is content with himself
Has done a worthless work.
Achievement is the beginning of failure.
Fame is beginning of disgrace.”

Who can free himself from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of men?
He will flow like Tao, unseen,
He will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple is he, without distinction.
To all appearances he is a fool.
His steps leave no trace. He has no power.
He achieves nothing, has no reputation.
Since he judges no one
No one judges him.
Such is the perfect man:
His boat is empty.

path

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Word of the Day: Gaslighting (revisited)

gaslight1944dvd

Do you know what it is?

Wikipedia says:

Gaslighting or gas-lighting[1] is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt her or his own memory, perception, and sanity.[2] Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
The term owes its origin to the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, after which it was coined popularly. Now the term even is used in clinical and research literature.

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There’s a *Venus* Retrograde I Need to Worry About, Too?!?

Image result for venus retrograde in virgo

photo credit Venus Lotus

At this rate, I won’t ever be getting out of bed. Especially since, right after the end of this *Venus* Retrograde, we go immediately into a Mercury Retrograde.

See what I mean about never getting out of bed? That and all those Friday the 13ths scattered in there…

I guess I can be thankful it only happens every 18 months or so.

You can thank Elephant Journal for helping me discover this cosmic phenomenon.

Apparently:

“In your horoscope, the planet Venus rules beauty, art, social relationships, partnerships, romance, love, values, money, and financial security [that pretty much covers everything, right?]. Whenever a planet is retrograde it’s not a favorable time for initiating activities in the area that a planet rules because your perception is off kilter.

In the case of Venus retrograde, the best thing to do is to: slow down and reassess what—and—who you value. If you ignore this advice, you may find that the actions you take during Venus retrograde come back to haunt you, because of a special set of problems you may not know about [isn’t that kind of just how life is?]. Venus only goes retrograde every 18 months (for 40-44 days), as it will from July 25, 2015 through September 6, 2015. Yet, this important event may have a huge effect on your life.”

Here are 8 things you can do to protect yourself…

  1. Hold off getting married or making wedding plans
  2. Do not begin a new relationship or break-up from one you’re in
  3. Make an appraisal of your current relationship
  4. Prepare for an old relationship to return into your life
  5. Beware of making changes in your beauty & overall appearance
  6. Postpone resolving monetary matters
  7. Re-consider whether now is the right time for an investment
  8. Cautiously evaluate any luxury items you want to buy

You can click this link to read more detailed descriptions, if you’d like…

So, in short, that’s 40-44 days where I shouldn’t be making these types of decisions? And then the next Mercury Retrograde starts on September 17th?

That’s 11 fucking days, people!! 11 fucking days to get shit done before I have to spend another 21 holed up?

And really not even that!

“The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such [technology].  So, when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand.  You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.”

credit: The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

So… I MAYBE only get four days of relative sanity!?

Then I find out about Saturn Retrograde!?!?!? Which started way back on March 14th and goes until the beginning of August!?

“Saturn is the Lord of Karma. Retrograde motion is a time when karma is sorted out. Therefore Saturn retrograde 2015 is a double dose of karma.

Before we get into this, we need to understand what this word means. Karma is a form of energy that is very real. Like Saturn, it is very closely bound to time. Past, present, and future blur into one. If we have been bad in the past, then at a certain predestined time, an event will occur to teach us a lesson. If we been good in the past, then at a predestined time, an event will occur to reward us for our good deeds.

With Saturn in retrograde motion, the karma will relate to how responsible we have been in the past. The implications will affect our sense of security. This could be in any area of life… … …

… … … Dishonesty and treachery will come back to haunt some people. Victims of lies and scandal have the hope of being vindicated, but sadly, all involved will find this whole processes rather ugly and depressing.”

credit: Astrology King

Awesome!!

Image result for butterfly effect quote

butterfly-effect

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Word of the Day: Novaturient

TC sent me this last week…

Novaturient

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My New Favorite Drink

Mule

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Moscow Mule

By Noah Kaufman |

… … …

The very first Moscow Mules were served in a limited edition run of copper mugs brought over from Russia. … … …

Here are five things you might not know about how the Moscow Mule came to be:

1. The Moscow Mule combined two ingredients no one wanted at the time.

In 1941 at the Cock ‘N’ Bull in Hollywood, the bar owner found himself unable to sell either the cases of Smirnoff Vodka he had purchased or the bottles of house made ginger beer. Wes Price, the bartender at the time, said he was just trying to clear out the basement.

2. Those famous mugs were a stroke of serendipity.

An immigrant named Sophie Berezinski came to California with 2,000 copper mugs she had designed in her father’s copper shop in Russia. She carted them around L.A., trying to sell them “lest her husband toss them in a trash heap.” She found willing buyers at the Cock ‘N’ Bull who wanted something to make their drink stand out.

3. It put Smirnoff Vodka on the map. (I prefer Absolut)

Before the Moscow Mule, Smirnoff was a tiny company owned by an almost penniless Russian ex-pat. But two years after John Martin bought the company in 1939 he got it over to the Cock-N-Bull where it would become the vodka of choice for a properly made mule for decades.

4. The Moscow Mule was almost a casualty of the cold war.

As the U.S./U.S.S.R. stalemate hit its peak intensity with McCarthyism, HUAC and blacklisting in Hollywood, the mule’s birthplace, a rumor begin circulating that Smirnoff was Russian vodka. As a result New York bartenders organized a boycott of the cocktail. Smirnoff, by the way, was never Russian. It originated in Bethel, Connecticut.

5. It had a terrible dance and jingle.

We don’t know who the ad wizards were that came up with this one, but in 1965 the drink was rebranded as the Smirnoff Mule and got its own dance created by Killer Joe Piro and its own song sung by Carmen McRae. We don’t know how many surviving copies of the record are left, but the words were, “Stand stubborn/Stop sudden/Look cool. Turn it on/Take it off/The Smirnoff Mule.”

If you want to drink your mules out of the real thing, the new editions of the old mugs are available from Moscow Copper here.

 

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Limerence

Ugh!

I fucking hate that word!

It scares the shit out of me!

It scares me so much that I almost deleted my previous “Word of the Day” post about it.

Quite a while ago.

Because I’m pretty sure that limerence had me firm in it’s grasp.

It scares me because it means I might not feel the way about TC that I think I do.

It scares me even more that TC might not feel, about me, the way he thinks he does!

It makes me doubt my self and my heart. Which, honestly, to this date, have not been very reliable counsel anyway…

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Monday Motivation: Silence

Again, I defer to Om Swami

… Once upon a time a farmer lost his watch while working in the barn. This was not just any watch but his most favorite possession. His late father had given it to him decades ago. He searched for it frantically, in every nook and corner of his barn. He turned the hay upside down but it was nowhere to be found.

Somewhat distraught, hardly had he sat down when he heard children playing outside. He asked them for help and promised a reward of $20 to the one who would find it. Excited, eager and hopeful, the children rummaged through the whole area, practically combing every haystack, yet they couldn’t find it either. They gave up and went back to playing. The farmer thought he would never see his watch again.

“Can you give me a chance?” a small boy tugged at his coat.
“I don’t mind,” the farmer said, surprised to see a little contender. “But, other children and I’ve already searched everywhere.”
“I know,” he said. “I would still like to try.”
The farmer had nothing to lose so he let him in and carried on with his chores in the field.

A mere twenty minutes later, the young boy went running up to him.
“I found it!” he said, and, opened his hands revealing the watch.
The farmer picked him up in his arms, and said joyously, “How on earth did you find it?”
“I just sat on the ground and listened to silence,” the boy replied. “After a few minutes, I heard the watch ticking. The rest was easy.”

We are desperately searching for our lost possessions, emotions and love, turning the world upside down only to feel tired a bit later. And then we sit down, we wonder, we worry, we muse, we reflect, we accept, we relax. In that state of mind, life appears like the young boy and hands it back to us.

Sometimes, the greatest way to search is to not search at all. When you don’t search and just let it be, then you hear the watch ticking, you hear how life’s bubbling over and you see the beauty in everything. When that happens, you realize that everything you already have is a prized possession in its own right, the present moment being the greatest of all…

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Complicated Grief?

I took a short grief quiz online a couple of weeks ago because this Loserman thing was making me nuts! I wish I could just throw the lovey-dovey, mushy-gushy feelings away — or possibly donate them to someone who needs them more than I do… But, today I feel closer to being over it than I did when I took that quiz. So, that’s something, right?

Anyway. I ramble…

The results of the quiz stated that I could be suffering from “complicated grief”.

I thought, WTF? Isn’t ALL grief complicated?

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