What is the Uncomfortable Principle?

Have you ever wondered about the comfortableness of pain? Sounds crazy, right? But, how many times have you habitually heard the same person complaining about their pain? People in pain often develop a habit of constant complaining; and in fact, some use it as a source of attracting attention to themselves. They may actually be in pain, but because of their constant complaining, they exacerbate their pain, because they keep their minds focused on it.

After a while of living with their pain, some people get comfortable with it. They are unwilling to make the changes necessary, not only to alleviate or relieve their pain, but to stop causing it. Despite any advice, recommendations, or homework given by therapists; some people stubbornly insist, “I can’t do that!” which really translates to mean, “I won’t do it.”

It means that their pain has become so much a part of their lives, that they would rather to continue the routine that involves their pain, than to make some lifestyle changes that would allow them to manage it better, or eliminate it altogether.

Besides, what would they do without their pain to talk about, or without the attention and/or assistance they get because of it? When it comes right down to it, some people are just too complacent to take any legitimate action against pain. It’s much easier to just get more pills or shots, and accept a label of disabled.

The idea of being complacent disturbed me on account of this:

Pro 1:32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

Somehow, complacency can actually kill you. Most people don’t think or see far enough down the path to even realize that they’ve put themselves into such a position, but I try not to take such things for granted, especially since wayward means an irregular turn or change away from what is right.

If the thought processes that causes such a turn makes me into a simpleton; that means there wasn’t much thought put into this change at all; and I need to check myself before I wreck myself. Literally.

It is the same thing for any person who is struggling with any particular vice. Lately, as I’ve been pondering my efforts towards getting into better overall health and wellness, I’ve been getting an unusual message. The message, which I see as God given; has come to me on at least two different occasions. It keeps telling me that I need to make a point of doing things that make me uncomfortable.

So I began to think about comfort, discomfort and being uncomfortable. I also thought about unease and disease and how these words might all be related somehow. What is the difference between being uncomfortable and having discomfort? They sound like the same thing, really, and both involve my comfort being taken or removed from me. The only difference seems to be in the tense in which they are used. At least, that’s what I thought, until I looked up the difference.

I shouldn’t be amazed, but when I asked google what is the difference between “dis” and “un,” I was amazed that it popped up so easily, as if the question had been asked multiple times. Then I realized, it’s google. Why am I surprised? It has probably been asked thousands of times, with thousands of different applications in mind.

My mind, however, is on how these prefixes play together with words that could mean the difference between suffering and freedom from pain. After all, you’ve never heard of anyone getting “un-ed,” but we have all heard of people getting “dissed.” But, did you ever think of the connotation of being “dissed” with regard to health, or even pain?

I did. Why, I even experienced it personally. Back in 2000 when I had the accident that caused a double fracture to my left knee and ankle; I remember very clearly what happened when I got to the emergency room. You see, I was in so much pain; because the ambulance techs never realized that for over half the trip, the tank for the mask was I was breathing through, which was supposed to give me some pain relief; was empty.

Furthermore, they had stopped in route; first to one hospital, which didn’t have room, and then to a second one; to give me 25 CCs of demerol, and then 25 CCs of morphine, because I was still screaming from the pain. It was during that first stop, wherein they pulled over to give me the meds, that the empty tank was discovered, and apologies made.

Nevertheless, I literally became the princess with the pea, because, in spite of superior shock absorbers on those ambulances; I felt every dip, jolt, pebble, bump, pothole and small indentation in the roads on the way to the hospital. The only thought I could focus on through all that pain, was, “Scream. They won’t know you’re in pain unless you scream.”

By the time they wheeled me into the emergency room, they had given me another 25 CCs of demerol, and shortly after that, I began to come down. However, just prior to that last batch of meds finally taking their effect; while I was still screaming in pain; a bunch of the hospital nurses came into my room. It was like I had a revolving door on the room, because it was a parade of different nurses and staff.

They weren’t attending to me; they just wanted to see who the screamer was, and what condition was causing the screaming. Each group stood there discussing what they were looking at, as if my pain prevented me from hearing them. It was like I was in an educational hospital, and a bunch of college students were making the rounds.

They dissed me all over the place with descriptive words like, “disjointed,” “dismembered,” and some stated that they were surprised that the bone had not exited my skin, and so forth. The whole thing was a case of total “disregard,” and “disrespect,” and was, in essence, “disgusting.” But…no one ever “un-ed” me.

So that brings me back to the question of what is the difference? The answer, according to dailywritingtips.com may have something to do with both the laws of physics, and degrees of separation. You would not say that someone was “un” courteous; you would say they were “dis” courteous. The reason is because no one can “reverse” courteousness, but anyone can “stop” demonstrating it.

By their tour through my hospital emergency room, the nursing staff stopped respecting me as a patient in pain, and viewed me as a spectacle. Because of my condition, and where I was, they stopped regarding me as a person, and I became nothing more than a case study.

This is why I stressed the fact that the messages I have been getting are not requiring me to stay in a “state of discomfort.” So why should I be striving to do things that make me uncomfortable? As I was pondering this, I realized that being uncomfortable caused more movement. It’s a matter of complacency. Doing things that make me uncomfortable eliminates a state of inertia. Then I remembered this.

1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

This brought a few more related words to my attention. Being uncomfortable is the difference between being alert, and sober, or drunk and asleep at the philosophical wheel of life. Whatever the vehicle is that you are utilizing to try to get to a predestined goal, your ability to maintain focus and to do the things that make you uncomfortable in conjunction with things you love to fulfill your passion; will be the difference between being ineffective and unproductive, or becoming happy and successful.

It is the difference between being barren and unfruitful, or taking the action that causes you to not only reach your goals, but to bear witness to our ability to fulfill our dreams; if we are truly willing to challenge ourselves, and change our thinking and lifestyles.

It matters not if your goal is to get healthy, lose weight, get educated, make more money, start a business, or become financially independent. There are many people that dream big, but never fulfill their dreams or reach their goals due to complacency. I don’t want to be that person.

I have been comfortable for a majority of my life; so much so, that the scales of purpose and achievement were not balanced. Not that I was living as I dreamed, but until recent years, I became complacent, thinking that it was my job to accept and deal with whatever life threw at me. I accepted the status quo, and the mindset that directs this culture, telling us that it is more important for us to make sure we are entertained at all costs, no matter where we go. Being comfortable is a high priority in this culture and mindset.

Since doing the same things and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, then with regards to my dreams, goals and the changes I want to see in my life; I must do the things that make me uncomfortable, in order to stay on a focused path, and pull me out of my natural tendencies towards convenience and complacency. Are you willing to be uncomfortable?

Abundant Goodness

When I saw the headline, “Abundant Goodness,” on that box, I thought, ” Really?” I wondered if there is anything, in this life, and on this earth; that we can truly label as “Abundant Goodness?” I could see the word “Goodness” being utilized, but seeing “Abundant” in front of it gave me pause; especially in the context that it was being used.

It is an extremely slick campaign; meaning that it is an ingenious, cleverly devised, and a deftly executed bit of wordplay, having surface appeal or sophistication, but is really shallow or glib in content; polished but superficial.

It reminded me of a recent encounter I had with three blind mice who are part of an organization that claims to provide a wonderful service to both its external and internal customers, when in reality, they bite the hands that feed them.

The big rat intimidator of this threesome was always professing himself to be the concerned protector of all, but it was that same rat that leveled 2 threats towards me concerning the very permits he had been claiming he was protecting; simply because I dared to raise questions about their procedures. In doing so, this duplicitous threesome blindsided me, and placed me under duress while forcing me into a John Hancock moment.

It doesn’t matter, because the association with them is severed and ultimately, under duress means they have invalidated the entire process and document. I’m struck by the fact that apparently, they felt I was such a threat to all the mess they obviously have a need to hide. But, what’s done in the dark is ALWAYS revealed in the light.

Someone will come along that can break through their carefully crafted wordplay, much of which, wasn’t legal anyways. Rats are usually sniffed out eventually. Their droppings aren’t that hard to miss. When that happens, that will be perhaps a true sign; an example of “Abundant Goodness” in play.

However, the place wherein I saw this thought provoking bit of language about “Abundant Goodness,” was, of all places; on a cereal box. Let me tell you a few of the other choice tidbits of language that was used to describe this cereal. First of all, this “Abundant Goodness” is alleged to be contained in every bite. Every…bite.

The Kellogs company claims that this “crafted mix…gives you not only 22g of whole grain, but is an excellent source of fiber, and a blend of unique flavors and nutrition that will “NOURISH” you.

IMG_1167-e1465928279552-223x300Now, when you look at the packaging, it certainly looks like this is a healthier choice. They’ve included almonds, cranberries, dried apples and coconut, and even claim to have put quinoa into their mix as well. There’s a few little sprinkles of quinoa on the box for effect, but when I looked and saw none in the cereal. If there’s any quinoa actually in this cereal, it such a minuscule amount you’d be hard pressed to find a single grain.

But, back to this word they put all over the boxes of these New cereals. NOURISH. So they’re claiming that this “unique blend of favors and nutrition will NOURISH you, me, and all who partake of this product. Thus, I needed to verify that my understanding of the word “nourish” fit into the actual meaning of the word, especially as used on this product.

Nourish:

  1. To sustain with food or nutrient; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
  2. To cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.
  3. To strengthen, build up, or promote

So now that the meaning is clear, the question is clear. Does this line of “Nourish” cereals from Kellogs really live up to its promoted values? Are these cereals something that truely is beneficial, or is this play on words just a manipulative ploy to make us all believe that big companies like Kellogs are really interested in our health and well being?

Nutritional-facts1-224x300For the answer, we must look at the Nutritional Facts listed on the box.

Most of the nutritional facts I don’t have too much problem with. However, there were a few standouts, especially as one’s eyes drift further down these “facts.” First of all, I thought the sodium count was a bit on the high side per serving.

The total carb count was also higher than expected, especially in light of the box statement of “Balanced Carbs.” At only 11g, I didn’t think the sugar count was too high; not until I continued to the list of ingredients.

I always used to limit the cereals my son could choose by the sugar count. It always had to be no higher than 12g. However, in looking at the ingredient list, I began to think that at only 11g, it was way too much sugar.

Why? Sugar is the third ingredient on the list…the first time it’s listed. Item five on the list is cranberries, which had a bracket to explain the ingredients of those. Wait. Aren’t cranberries an item that is grown naturally in nature? But they’ve added sugar as the first ingredient in the list of ingredients for the cranberries.

Nutritional-facts-3-466x1024The eighth ingredient is quinoa…flour. Seriously? But the image on the box depicts pieces of quinoa. And that brings us to ingredient number 10 – corn syrup. Really? This, in the cereals that boast all over the box about being “nourishing.” Don’t be deceived. Just because it doesn’t have the word “high fructose” in front of the words “corn syrup” does not mean that it is any less hazardous to anyone’s health.

Isn’t it enough that this is a carb based meal; one that already has sugar added. Is corn syrup really necessary when record numbers of people are struggling with diabetes? Are the claims to “Nourish ” us inclusive of this type of ingredient that does more harm than good? After all, if the difference between corn syrup and ethanol, which is used in vehicles, is about 2 or 3 ingredients. How healthy can it be?

There’s already brown sugar syrup in this. It’s ingredient #16. Ingredient #18 is “Natural Flavor.” I was already wondering what “Natural Flavor ” is. After all, if it was truely natural, would they need to list it as part of the ingredient list? Obviously, it something that’s added in, under this vague terminology. Who actually knows what makes up this ingredient.

While pondering about this, I stumbled across an article about a company that produces these “Natural Flavor” ingredients. So that is a whole other can that needs to be opened and explored. What the heck is being produced by companies like this, and given the designation of “Natural Flavor”?

And apparently, from the information in that article, companies such as Kellogg’s purchase these “Natural Flavor ” ingredient to add to their products. So why don’t consumers know what this ingredient consists of? How do we even know that whatever it is, that its truly natural? Companies are so glib and manipulative in their marketing techniques. Using such a general reference would mean nothing to them.

The last and worst thing on this ingredient list is item 32; BHT, for freshness they claim. First of all, if they need to add something into their product “for freshness;” what does that tell us about the state of or quality of the product prior to this addition of “freshness”?

But what’s more horrific is what they chose to add in to provide this needed freshness to this product. BHT is known to be a cancer causing chemical; specifically causing brain cancer. Why would any company use a product like BHT; something that can cause great harm to consumers; in their product which they claim will “Nourish” everyone?

What I typically hear when I mention toxins in certain foods is, “It’s such a minuscule amount. It won’t really affect you.” I guess this is supposed to mean that a slow death by minuscule amounts of poison over time is unheard of.

All I can say with regard to this, is that anyone foolish enough to buy that, can expect a short lifespan. Don’t trust these companies just because they’ve been around, or are household names. That doesn’t mean they have our safety and health as their first priority when producing these so-called “healthy” products. They certainly have no problem utilizing manipulative wordplay in their marketing in their attempts to deceive us into purchasing their products. Read labels, and don’t be gullible.

Through The Looking Glass

Remember when Alice put her hand into the looking glass in the sequel to Alice in wonderland? She discovered not only a new dimension, but was able to travel through time in that dimension, profoundly affecting both that world and her own world by her forward progression during that journey.

Recently, I was watching Stephen Hawking’s movie, Genius; in which, in one segment, he teaches 3 people about time travel. The segment was fascinating because the principles of time-space were clearly explained and discovered by the three average people who were not scientists.

It reminded me of the time when my then 7 year old son explained string theory to me, after watching a pbs special on it just one time. I had to see it 2 more times before the implications and understanding took hold. Sometimes, I joke that I’m getting dotty as I age, but that is truly laughable if I’m understanding this concept the way I am.
What is even more amazing to me is that, by osmosis in examining one theory and solving it, these scientists have also brought enlightenment to an entirely different ideology and principle. They have, in essence, found the key to the fountain of youth.
Let me clarify. By definition, the fountain of youth is a place that is hidden; a place that all people profess to seek. However, just like the man lying at the pool of Bethesda, it is a place only reached by strong will and determination.
That man had found the pool, but he was unable to get his healing from it. Why? The key was, whoever got into the water first when the angel first “troubled” the water (touched it), would be healed.
In accordance to that concept, there weren’t any other limitations. When Jesus saw this man, he had been lying by that pool for 38 years. His healing came in during his interaction with Christ, but first, Jesus had to check his desire level. So he asked him, “Do you (really) want to be healed?”
The miracle of this man’s healing would not be found in some magic bottle or pill. The real question was, “Are you truly willing to do what it takes to get healed.” In other words, it requires effort on your part. You have to pursue it, and if you pursue something hard enough, eventually, it will overtake you.
This man had the answer within him all along, but his mindset was wrong. First of all, he was around a bunch of sick people all day and night as he lay by that pool waiting to be healed. His waiting was the other problem. He was putting his responsibility off on others.
When Jesus asked him that question, his answer was nothing but excuses as to why he could not receive his healing. It was the fault of everyone but himself. First he said he had no one to put him into the pool when the angel appeared. Then he claimed that because of this lack of resources, someone else always got there first before him. Apparently, he didn’t want it badly enough.
Finally, in the fortieth year, when he encountered Christ, he had suffered long enough. It took him forty years to develop enough determination to stubbornly insist that he wanted it. In other words, he finally became assertive about it, and became willing to do whatever was necessary to take back his health and to stop being a passive, pathetic, whiny victim.
He was finally ready to take action as opposed to waiting for, and relying on someone else to do it for him (like someone with a professional title, like “doctor”). The thing is, he didn’t have to lose 38 years to get healed. He could have gotten his healing much sooner if his mindset had been right. You see, he had already told Jesus the answer which he, himself had for those 38 years.
He told Jesus that when the angel troubled the water, whoever got in it first, received the healing. The key was in getting in the water itself; not how much of you got in. He was under the impression that he had to fully immerse himself in the water, but it was whoever got in. If any part of you got in the water first, you got the healing.
Technically, he could have put a finger in, and he would have been “in” the water. As long as he was the first to touch that water after the angel troubled it, he would have been healed.
The problem was in his perception of both the problem and the resolution. And because he thought of himself as helpless, he misunderstood the situation and the resolution, and subsequently became not only helpless, but hopeless as well, staying in a state of perpetual victimhood out of choice, due to his own mindset.
Instead of progressing forward by faith, he choose to come to a full stop. Life continued to progress around him, and he just laid there for 38 years! This is why Jesus had to ask him if he really wanted to be well. People become apathetic after they have stayed in a state of no progression for a long time, but it is always a matter of choice.
This is why I keep questioning this situation I see at our main library daily. All these homeless people hang around there, sleep there, and spend their time wasting away there. I can understand the ones with mental problems, but the vast majority I see out there, are there because they are simply irresponsible and are addicts of some sort who don’t want to work or have any responsibilities.
They’ve got the key to prosperity sitting right in front of them; 8 stories high, but instead of using it to help themselves, they waste time on the computers watching YouTube or vines or playing video games all day, or just sit around near the park outside waiting for some non-profit to come feed them.
They made a series of choices that led them through time to that predestined state they are in; because that is the kind of mindset they have. I have no pity for them. They chose that, and continue to choose it daily by ignoring the abundance of resources freely available, literally at “their front door.”
In the time travel demonstration, Steven Hawking’s experiment that the three average people did, showed a 3 dimensional progression of their journey, leaving from their starting point and arriving at their end point. It was a combination of where they went, when they went, and how long it took for them to arrive. The progression is not one dimensional. As you progress, you can move forward and up or down in the grid at the same time based on the three criteria of when, where, and how long. You cannot go backward in time; only forward.
A three dimensional grid could then be constructed to show their progression. The outcome was based on the choices they made on the way. Life is all about progression…movement. If you stop moving and progressing forward, you become nothing more than roadkill in your own universe, and dung collecting flies in everyone else‘s universe.
Focus on your goals and ask yourself, “How can I make this happen?” If you lack ideas and answers, read books and articles containing the information you need to go where you choose. The ideas will then formulate and you can begin your journey again in the right direction and succeed in reaching your goal.
During your efforts, you will have travelled forward through time from where you were toward the completion of your goals, and ultimately a revelation, or revolution into your new, fulfilled life. Your personal universe will have changed, and will profoundly affect the universe at large.
Alice needed a revolution in her mindset to fix the problems she faced in her world. Her journey through time in the other dimension gave her the strength and resolution in mindset that she needed to overcome the odds and recover what was lost in her own dimension.

It’s Not The End Of The World

Programming. When you encounter people whose behavior is puzzling, you have to wonder where and how they got programmed that way. I’m not talking about something someone does once. I’m talking about repetitive behaviors; things that make you go…”hmmmm.”

Let me explain. My mother, who is bordering on 80 years, seems to think that every time we have a disagreement, it is the end of our relationship. Have you ever had someone come at you with those dramatics?

It’s the big guilt trip that she always uses. I’ve told her repetitively that I will not be manipulated by guilt trips; yet, this is her response almost every time we have a disagreement. This time around, the drama was, “Ok, since you guys don’t want me around, I’ll just stay here by myself. Don’t worry, I’ll manage.” This, after remarks about how I have always hated her, and she doesn’t understand where all the hostility is coming from.

My mother is very family oriented. She clings to my son and I almost desperately, ever since my younger brother passed 5 years ago. I think a lot of it is insecurity due to her age, which is understandable. So any time she thinks the relationship is threatened, she pulls out the only card she thinks she has to hold on to us with.

Until this argument came up, I never realized that the dynamic I used to think was based on my own insecurities, really was not. So many people don’t seem to analyze their own behavior, nor the behaviors of others.  Additionally, they don’t realize that these patterns of behavior cause a lot of stress, not only to themselves, but also others in their zone of relationships. This sort of stress can be a trigger for pain.

In this case, I realized that my former habit of running out of relationships at the first sign of trouble (disagreement on any level), was based on this pattern of insecurity. My “relationships” at that time; (my early twenties up until my 30’s), were always very short-lived; 1-3 months tops. Why? It wasn’t because I was scared of commitment. It was because if I sensed any slight tremor of a potential issue of contention, or if I just wasn’t comfortable with something, I would just run from the situation instead of confronting the issue with that person.

This dynamic, was the result of watching my excessively, passive father walk away from arguments with my mother while she was on an emotional tirade. He always taught us to walk away from a fight, insisting that this made you the bigger person. As the bigger person, you win by not stooping to the level of the person throwing low balls in order to emotionally rile you into a fight or acting as your lower self.

On the few occasions that I actually saw my father engage my mother when she was argumentative, she would go to drastic extremes because she didn’t win the fight or get her way, whichever applied. On one occasion, she just disappeared, leaving me freaking out thinking something had happened to her; and calling the relatives and local hospitals to find out if something did happen.

In reality, she picked that moment to take off on her previously planned and announced vacation, but I didn’t know that until more than a week later when she returned. She had never set a concrete date as to when she was going to take it. In spite of my angst over this, I thought that my reasons for running away from arguments specifically related to this “walk away” concept that my father instilled.

Funny thing is, I would run when it came to personal relationships, but I would fight like hell in other circumstances. I was quite the hellcat  while I worked at the post office; with my motto of take no prisoners. My attitude in that situation was, “If you (management) take one step towards (against) the workers, I was taking two steps towards them, fist extended.” I used to fight for everyone, and I took on any battle in that arena; even writing a newsletter for an outside union to rally the troops.

I later realized, that you have to pick your battles. While I was married, I realized if someone is important to you, you can’t just walk away. Sometimes you have to stay and fight. Some things require that you stand your ground, and some relationships are worth fighting for.

You don’t just throw in the towel on people. Every relationship is worth fighting for, but no relationship is worth being continually taken for granted.  People have to learn to agree to disagree, and to have a discussion, regardless of the level of heat, without personally attacking the person(s) participating, and without manipulation attempts.

Such under-the-belt tactics can wound people, and cause long lasting emotional scars. These can be the catalyst for a pain problem that grows slowly, over time. Muscles record emotional trauma. It’s hidden deep in the cells because each of the billions of cells that make up the tissue of our bodies, contains a brain with a memory.

I’ve worked on people with deep physical pain locked in their bodies because of buried emotional trauma. An example of this is a person who experienced some form of traumatic abuse, such as rape. As a massage therapist, I know that if I release buried trauma like that in the muscles; the client on the table can experience what’s called a Somatic release.

In such cases, the person may end up reliving the attack or the abuse, and begin thrashing about on the table. Or, they may sob hysterically. All the therapist can do at that point, is  respect their process, and protect them if needed, by making sure they don’t fall off the table.

The therapist cannot interfere, and must allow the client to express and work through that somatic release in whatever manner they need to. Somatic release is a way of alleviating unresolved emotional trauma that is buried in the muscles.

Emotional pain or trauma can be hidden in different ways within a person, and likewise, can be expressed in different ways. Most often, we tend to see it exhibited in the form of someone’s insecurity. In my case, I’m having to indirectly teach my mother that an argument over unresolved issues is not the end of the world; nor necessarily the end of the relationship.

I didn’t realize that apparently, she has thought this for most of her life. I shouldn’t be surprised, because I’ve seen this dynamic amongst my relatives as well. It seems severed relationships are the norm with certain members of the family deciding not to speak to each other due to a fight they had.

The whole time we were arguing, she kept kicking out this final pronouncement that simply because she and I disagreed, and my son and I were in agreement about the issue I was bringing to her attention; that we just didn’t want her around anymore. She even tried to tell me that my son wasn’t involved because I’m his mother, and this is between she and I.

I had to correct her on that too. I let her know that my son is an adult, and will be treated as such. I had to say this because I spent almost 40 years still being like a child in several respects; evidenced by her insistent that her siblings run all encounters with me through her. She still thinks she should be the go-between in any relationship between her family and myself; and is offended that I didn’t tell her about a recent family event that she missed and I attended.

After repeatedly stating that we did not hate her, and that we did not want her out of our lives, I had to explain to her that we were both speaking about consideration, and that I had been trying to get her to listen to me about issues like this for a long time.

I had to explain that it was not a situation of hating her, but of being frustrated for years because she refused to hear me for so long whenever I brought up issues like this; always trying to distract me with guilt trips about our level of love for her.

She then acknowledged something she had denied for years. I couldn’t believe it. I thanked her for finally acknowledging that one thing, and let her know that it meant a lot to me that she finally admitted it. Finally, sounding somewhat defeated, she asked, “So where do we stand?”

I told her, “As far as I’m concerned, we’re fine. All we are asking for is just some consideration.” Then the conversation changed to the plans we had previously made, and I heard her awkward questions to confirm that I was still going with her to the appt a few days away.

I think she was surprised that nothing else changed, but I think she’s slowly beginning to see that a disagreement does not mean the relationship is over. It is ok to express your feelings, and to set boundaries about what is and is not acceptable for you in the relationship. Some people go through years of putting up with someone else’s selfishness, or lack of consideration just to keep the peace.

Long term frustration can definitely turn into hidden resentment, and resentment can turn to hatred, and hatred into bitterness. Bitterness can cause pain in the form of chronic stress and diseases, like cancer.

It is better for your health and wellbeing, to do your utmost to express your needs for consideration with consideration; laying out the boundaries so that your dealbreakers are known. If necessary, you may need to do this more than once, to ensure that you are taken seriously and given the respect you need in your relationships.

 

The Frustration Of Being Aesthetically Pleasing

I’m not a perfectionist. In fact, sometimes, I’m quite lazy. It’s a work in progress; as I am striving to grow up out of my initial artist’s habits of total spontaneity. It’s that free spiritedness that all creative people have that is sometimes my best friend and my worst enemy.

What am I talking about? Well, it must be obvious to the few of my dedicated readers, who, by God’s blessing, have stuck around, and are still with me, despite my seemingly neglectful treatment of you. It’s not an issue of my wanting to neglect my writing. I love the fact that ANYONE is paying attention to my content, and the ramblings of my mind, which, until I entered the blogosphere; I undervalued.

My issue is that the creative side of me has been very frustrated with the functionality of my site. I’m pretty sure I brought this up previously, since the debacle of the move from Host Gator to my current hosting company, Hostnameclub.com.

Host Gator’s techs were unable to give me succinct advice concerning my site because it is a multisite, and they were ill-equipped and unable to handle it. One would think that with the surging popularity of multisites, they would get on the ball, but that was not the case, and they advised me improperly, causing the loss of content to one of my sites.

Since I have been trying to recover from this situation, I’ve been battling with numerous issues of plugin or scripting conflicts; and it has drawn much of my time trying to address it. Currently, I tinkered with ad placements and even an amazon store, but after much of this tinkering, I decided to simply start over.

You know, we cause much of our own anguish when we are faced with the prospect of having to start over from scratch, and rebuild something we have built up significantly.  Such anguish can be the catalyst for a lot of physical pain, when we kick against the pricks ( a scriptural reference that is very apropos). That was the problem. I just really did not want to have to rebuild a site that contains over 500 articles…actually, closer to 700, but I can see that it must be done.

I discussed the matter with two tech pros I know at my local library, who explained a few things to me, and gave me an understanding for some of the conflicts on my sites. They made some suggestions, which I tried for the last 2-3 weeks, with no success. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to start from scratch and rebuild.

I’m sure my following has noticed the name change on the main site heading, and that will be the name of the new site.  My focus and mission have changed. Previously, I was trying to brand myself, but now, I want to just brand the site, because to me, the content and purpose is far more important than having my name on the site.

This is going to take some time, but one day, you’ll pop over here and notice that it looks different…throughout. I am actually building it separately, so that I can still continue to write and keep supplying you with something interesting to read. I’m hoping the transition will be seamless, and I will be able to clone my content, and just shift it over to the new site. But even if I have to manually transport the content, I will get it done, because I want easier navigation, and an eye-pleasing layout to compliment the content.

And I’m sure some of you are wondering where the almost 700 articles are. I unpublished the majority of them because as I said, my purpose is now defined, and my mission is different. I need to review this content to make sure it is all relevant. Things I wrote when I first started blogging out of boredom, are not going to entertain or engage my current audience, so things like that must go.

It makes me think of gardening. I’m basically pruning my overgrown plant here. Sometimes you have to cut things back, or even start from the basics of almost a stump to get the plant to regrow in the correct manner.  You know, in all honesty, I don’t think starting over is such a bad thing. The conflict of it lies in the thought of starting over, and not in the actual process.

You see, once you battle it out in the recesses of your mind; when you overcome the agony your mind perceives of having to do all that work over again; or even of all the time you’ve already invested trying to fix an unfixable problem, you are at ease. We cause ourselves much “dis-ease” by resisting that which is the most natural conclusion.

If we have to repeat a process, redo, retrain, relearn, or rebuild something, we become resistant because we act like we have learned all that information already, and why should we have to go through it again. It’s almost as if we have the end-all of knowledge on the subject; although in my case, it was not that. It was just the prospect of time issues, which is always on my list of complaints.

No one likes to feel like they’ve wasted their time. In reality, if you have to start over, or redo something you have already invested a lot of time in; it’s much easier to give in to the idea of redoing it; than it is to resist the idea, and continue to try to fix something that  requires a full overhaul. You waste more time, trying to cheat, and go the cheaper or less time consuming route, than if you simply started on the new model, while keeping the old one in service until you can complete the new, and have it ready to launch.

It’s really a severe learning curve to get past your own innate propensity to resist, but it contradicts everything that is natural to your most creative flow, and certainly, causes unnecessary unrest, irritation, frustration and eventually, pain. I remember something I read briefly on the back cover of a book called The Tao of Pooh.

I’m not into the Taoist philosophy, but the book caught my attention because it was about A.A. Milne‘s beloved character, Winnie the Pooh; who I myself love. The only thing I understood from the back cover about the basics of Taoist theory, is that they go with the flow. There was something about always going the flow of the river, and letting it carry you where it chose.

I don’t necessarily agree in full with that concept, simply because I don’t believe that life just happens to us. We are turned and directed by the winds of our own decisions and thoughts. This is why I am striving to eliminate some of my free-spirited ways, because I need more structure and order to my life. I don’t want to be a victim of circumstance, so I believe that by utilizing the 3 lbs inside our heads, we can navigate on the river, as opposed to being swept away by it.

My battle with the site is tantamount to having gone over a waterfall, and survived; only to have been attempting to paddle back up it, and back the way I came. That’s ludicrous. So I have given in. I only want to let my readers know that they have been not forgotten in the midst of all my angst and my battle with the site.

My middle name is not consistency, but I am committed to getting more organized; and in spite of my struggle against my natural proclivities, I will get there. I’m taking it one day at a time.

What Is The Puzzle Of Life?

There are some things that have been dancing around my head; ideas about puzzles, perceptions and perspective and the translation of concepts. Several years ago, my son, at age 7, watched a program on Nova about string theory, and in one sitting, completely grasped the concept, and came and told me about it. He explained it in full to me.

My understanding of what he explained is basically that within every inch of space that I can see and even that which I cannot see, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of individual strings that connect one to another. These strings are molecular or maybe even micro-molecular, and make up everything that is.

Perception

That’s the extent of my understanding of what he told me, even though my son explained much more than that. But my mind took it in another direction, and I developed a cube theory. I saw, in my mind, something along the lines of a giant a mini magnetic cube, but containing millions of tiny magnetic balls within it.  

puzzle magnetic cube_miniinthebox_comThis giant cube made up space as we know it at an earthly level. It has height, depth, width, breath. All of us, individually, occupy a one of these magnetic balls; our own tiny mini world within the world; and we interact or come into contact with each other as our magnets cause our worlds to to.

This giant cube is constantly turning and moving in all different directions, and it is always moving and interacting with other magnetic balls as well. Everyone is in a different world on a different level, and moving in a different direction according to where they are at, and where they perceive they should be, or, where they think they should be going.

Some appear to be going up, some down, some sideways, some backwards, but the giant cube keeps turning and moving, so that picture keeps changing. Since the giant cube is constantly in motion, from an outside perspective, the levels are always in constant flux. No level is better or lesser than; none is higher or lower. All are just in a different place, and all are functioning as well as being affected by the interactions or connections with any other cube on either of the six available sides of connection, no matter how brief that connection 140723-Perception-v-Reality_sargentlawnc_commay be.

Those who, a moment ago, appeared to be going in one direction, now appear to be going in another, and these changes are based upon the movement of the giant cube, and the decisions of those within the worlds within the magnetic balls. Which of the six points of interaction has initiated a change of mindset? What information did they gather as a result of that interaction and how did that information affect their mindset and sense of direction? How might that change of mind, or interaction with one person affect their interactions with any others?

Perspective

The cube has six walls or points of contact. Your receptors will be processing incoming information based mostly on what you see, and what you hear; and sometimes on what you smell and what you feel from those six points of contact. What you feel may not involve direct contact, but perhaps intuition, or what you sense from another, and may even involve a more emotional base of evaluation.

From your perspective, which would be based on your stored core of information, you make decisions on accepting or rejecting that incoming info. Your magnet ball’s direction will then change as a result of just one decision. Likewise, all of your interactions with other magnetic balls will initiate a potential change in direction based upon where they were, or, their perspective, and the info they received from their interaction with you; and the subsequent decision they made as a result.

Puzzles

Again, we are all part of one whole, and how we relate to each other matters. I write this, not as one who has conquered her inefficiencies in this area, but as one who is learning still. For example, I could take a puzzle of say five thousand pieces and distribute it among 196 people. Each would have roughly about 25-26 random pieces of the puzzle.

fitting together_pndblog_typepad_comNow, this action alone would connect all of these different people because even if their pieces did not interact with everyone’s, just the fact that they are all part of the same puzzle connects them. The fact that their pieces connect with some people’s pieces and not others still connects them with those others via the connections with the some. So this then would make everyone connected.

There are going to be those that have part of the frame of the puzzle, and those that have only the pieces from inside the frame, yet all, coming together will piece the many into one. Ever try to construct a puzzle without the frame? It may be possible (depending on the puzzle design and number of pieces), but it certainly takes longer and is a lot more challenging.

Usually, the frame pieces are the first sought and put together, so that an idea of the concept can be seen. This allows a glimpse of possible related images in the remaining pieces, so that the one trying to piece it all together has an idea of where to start and what direction to go in; even if they don’t know what the entire picture looks like. Therefore, those that have frame pieces would be building the foundation; the framework of that puzzle; and would share similar values which is why they would be connected or connecting to each other.

Just as in the analogy of the cubes; they were all held together by a central uniting force, which in that analogy, was the giant Magnetic ball cube as well as the actual walls of the mini balls which contained their individual life force and environment. Without the central uniting force of the magnets holding everything and everyone together, there’d be a lot of mini balls floating about in space without any measure of control of themselves or their destination, and certainly without connection and a sense of direction.

Individually, they don’t have the complete concept; which is based on joining one with another. The foundation of the puzzle would remain incomplete, but together, they construct a strong foundation, and a unified force.

It takes a lot of time for these pieces to connect because first of all, they have to find like minded connections that have a similar magnetic pull. Now if we are talking about a standard flat table puzzle, the mainframe is usually the first part that connects. As soon as those connections are made, everyone on the inside is going to run towards the mainframe to see if they connect with it in any way. If they find that they cannot make a direct connection, they are now wandering in a sea of pieces trying to find a like piece that coincides with their piece.

The only way to organize this chaos is for those with mainframe pieces to come together and lead those without. The mainframe pieces have to initiate contact by seeking pieces with an essential constituent part that relates well to each main frame piece. Again, the relating would be the “connective tissue” so to speak, that connects each part to each other, and helps each person with that part connect.

It’s all about relationships, interconnecting; and the only way for that to happen is to find something relatable, because we all have something in common, no matter who we are or where we are from. We all have a piece of the puzzle, even if we don’t directly connect to each other, or are on opposing sides of the puzzle. Therefore, we can all learn from each other via our overall connectedness.

z144383000Certainly, at the most basic level, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is something everyone has in common, but perhaps is prioritized differently according to variations in environment and values. That priority of value will skew our individual perspectives, so that although we may have mastered a mainframe concept that fits in the big picture, it will certainly not flow or connect with all the other pieces because of where we are in the puzzle.  

It is our values that set us apart, and move us together or away from each other. This is what strains the connection chain, because we judge each other based on our values yet we are all essentially the same. What we truly value becomes evident under the most dire of circumstances, when all the distractions and pretenses are gone, and life gets excruciatingly real.

The puzzle designer knows this well, because he created the entire picture and each piece in it. No pieces are of different size or value. All are the same, they just have different functions in the picture and different types of connection points. Once the first few connections happen in sections of the mainframe, the puzzle often takes on a life of its own, with certain quadrants developing faster than others and spreading out into other quadrants, helping them to get connected.

Yet, the further the connections move from the mainframe, the more their connections become diluted; their pieces don’t follow the same colors or patterns initiated in the mainframe. They branch off into new segments of color or concept within the overall framework of what the puzzle represents. Some areas have lighter hues and some have darker, the proverbial yin and yang of the puzzle, yet all parts are a necessity of the whole.

Some of the concepts in the individual images don’t mesh from one side to the other, yet as a whole, it is a complete picture. By the time this puzzle is completed, there will be comparatively, a handful of pieces that have a direct or indirect connection to the mainframe, and the vast majority will have absolutely no connection at all.

But what is the binding force? It is the relationships. That is the glue that holds the entire puzzle together because that is what binds all the pieces/parties together into one image of connection, a complete picture. All pieces have a part of the whole, and not one piece, in and of itself, can complete the picture. It requires pieces from all sections to complete the picture.

Again, I reiterate that there is a foundation, and that foundation provides the framework of what is supposed to be. It is then, the authority that guides the assembling of the completed whole, but it is not without connections to sections and pieces that, separately, may have a different scope and perspective of what the picture is that represents the completed puzzle.

If one were to evaluate the puzzle by use of a graph; viewing it either from a horizontal or vertical perspective; from top to bottom, or from side to side, one could say that there were several levels, due to piece placement, to the puzzle itself.

Does the puzzle get put together from top to bottom first? Or do we start from one side? Does the framework get pieced together first, and then we work on one corner in a diagonal direction? Or, do we try to find each row and column that fits the framework, and work row by row until we end up at the furthest inside point at completion?

Just as there are many ways to construct the puzzle, there are many perceptions as to how the entire picture is supposed to look, and what the end result will be? Thus, there are many levels of understanding to interact with in the construction of the big picture. However, all of these “levels” are part of the picture, just as much as the light and dark, yin and yang; opposite sections of the puzzle still all fit somewhere as part of the big picture.

They may not agree, as in, their connection points may not match and be a perfect fit, but all are included, and they are still connected indirectly via the other pieces that lie between them. The difference lies in the individual journey to their connection within the big picture. Even if their perspective, role and function is different than another piece in the big picture, they are all still part of the whole, and they still have the same value in the big picture.

This concept reminds me of that kid’s cartoon my son’s into, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the 7 scattered gems power that he has to find. Each gem has a part of the secret and a part of the power, but one of them is the authority over all, and governs all, and is the main source of the power. All are unified under the authority of the one.

Sonic_Art_Assets_DVD_-_Sonic_The_Hedgehog_-_19I hope I’m being clear, and I hope you are following me on this and at least some have understood my point. The 5k I chose in the puzzle analogy was random. However, the 196 was not. That number represents the number of countries there are in the world today.

So now, view the puzzle pieces as individuals with concepts and ideologies from each culture. Each of these cultures has their own concepts of the mind-spirit-body connection as well as their own concepts of connection to their surroundings, whether nature or the earth or the “universe.”

There is a framework that was established long ago, but many have strayed away and many are just unaware. There are too many other things in the culture to distract. Some have just forgotten, and some have never heard of it. Yet, there are some that are in tune to that part of the puzzle that has the potential to connect or lead them, directly or indirectly to the foundation; that connects them to the whole, the mainframe concept, and thus, to the creator of that concept.

Some are seeking it. Some don’t want to believe that there is a puzzle maker who created the big puzzle and can guide them in connecting to the whole. They choose to believe that all the individual pieces formed themselves without a guiding force and source of direction that would form and color them to fit into the whole big picture.

Some believe that they can access the completed picture without the framework. They’ve grasped a few of the concepts that are relative to the framework, but they want to operate them without the frame, and this leaves an incomplete picture, thereby creating a corrupted image due to the lack of cohesion.

If, in your perceptions, you fail to see the connectedness of all of us, then this negative perspective will permeate everything in your life, leaving more puzzles without answers, like questions on the reasons you are experiencing pain. Lack of emotional connection is an element of pain on a spiritual, soul and body level. Your world is incomplete without those magnetic connections; the key is to be authentic to who you are, so that your magnet draws like-minded people to you, and enables those connections.

Right now, if we looked at the world in this manner, and people as a whole, there are groups and pieces just floating in the middle with no connection to the mainframe at all, as well as a lot of individual pieces that are seemingly islands unto themselves. Yet, they are still a part of the whole, we are still all connected, whether we agree on concepts or not.

The connections may not be directly relevant or relative, and yet all the pieces are the beloved creation of the puzzle maker. Hopefully, we can all improve our connectors and connections by considering others more.

How The Link Of Emotions Can Affect Your Pain

There is an emotional connection to physical pain. Before I became a massage therapist, I was just a person that was trying to figure out what was going on with my body. I began by trying to find the answer through Google, but I didn’t know what to put into the search.

I kept trying things like, your emotions and your health, but I wasn’t finding any concrete answers. I would find things that were put up on sites as a joke, or some romantic fantasy; or just some general statements from the medical community about how your emotions could affect your health, but nothing concrete.

But when I thought about one of my favorite artists, Phyllis Hyman, a beautiful, young, and gifted vocalist, who actually died from a broken heart, that said a lot to me about how much emotions can affect the body, especially the emotions tied to depression.

I had been in the office of one of the few chiropractors that I would recommend, and I saw a bottle that said in bold letters, “ANGER.” I approached the bottle, because I had never seen “bottled anger” before, and I could hardly believe my eyes. The label on this bottle further stated that the Liver was the organ affected by anger. This natural supplement was supposed to help in counteracting the damage anger causes to the liver.

My chiropractor stated that I didn’t need any of that. He said it was a crutch, yet I was curious. You see, I was having a problem with my liver…and, I was angry. At that time in my life, I was a very angry person. People that know me now can’t believe it, and are amazed when I tell them what a hellcat I was back then.

My job was tedious, monotonous; a bore-fest. My employer was the post office; a place that puts on a nice face for their public P.R. campaigns, but is a nightmare to work for behind the walls of their postal storefronts.

There was no internal customer service. The managers were nepotiously appointed, and were not communicators, nor well trained in employee interactions. They were petty and vindictive, and constantly violated major employment laws, like family leave. I was constantly fighting them, in fact, as far as I was concerned, we were at war.

On top of that, I worked with people who were constantly trying to rip me to shreds because I was different. Ever since my father had retired from the military, and we moved to Florida, I had been in a constant battle over my identity; not for acceptance, but just for some basic respect. All during high school, I was attacked by African Americans because according to them, I wasn’t black enough.

Years later, it was still an issue as an adult, as one particular female came right out with her reasons for not liking me. According to her statement of jealousy as we both sat in front of the superintendent of my shift, who also happened to be African American; my skin was too light, my nose was too small and straight, my lips were too small and my hair was too long. Yet according to her next statement, she didn’t have to like me to work with me because she was a professional. And her “professionalism” was the very reason we were both seated in the superintendent’s office.

Another jealous woman attacked me because according to her, I wasn’t black enough because I wasn’t wearing the right colored underwear under my white pants. According to this nasty woman and her cliché, “black people wear black underwear under white pants.” My offense was so dastardly. How dare I wear white underwear under white pants?

After her first attempt to humiliate me failed; I refused to be swayed or influenced by her or her consorts, and did not acquiesce with my attire; they stepped up their efforts. They actually enlisted every female on my shift, whether white, black, Latino or Asian. They told all the women to wear white pants on that Saturday. The plan was to demonstrate to me how ridiculous it was for someone black to wear white underwear under white pants. Can you believe that?

All the African American women were supposed to wear the white underwear, and bring a change with them. The white, Latino and Asian women wear supposed to wear black underwear under their white pants and bring a change with them as well. They’d show me.
The plan was in place. All the women except one Christian participated. I knew nothing of the plan until she told me about it the following Monday. Spoiler alert. The one thing missing from their well contrived plan was…me. Saturday was my regular day off.

I had missed “The Great Underwear-off,” the name I dubbed their ridiculous plan upon hearing about it on Monday. When my friend told me about it, I said, “Well, I’m both black and white; in fact I’m a 7 nationality mix. Guess I’m supposed to wear grey. Who cares anyway.”

Apparently they did. They had expended all that effort to humiliate me for nothing. Still, it didn’t deter them one bit. Once again, I was seated in the superintendent’s office, because this same nasty woman that initiated this nonsense had reported me for wearing, “obscene” clothing. That’s how far this insanity went. Is it any wonder that I was an angry person back then?

Furthermore, at the time I inquired about that “bottled anger,” I was also still hurting from my divorce. It was in that year of hell following the separation from my ex-husband, that the pain had started. I remember being so stressed, more than ever before.

I was suspended from work in one of several attempts by the management to terminate me, which they eventually did, albeit, illegally. The drastic change in my finances caused a forced change in my living situation, twice, with a two year old child in tow, and no child support.

When the pain started it was sharp. Crippling, actually. We were walking up the bridge over the intercoastal to get to the beach for fireworks on the Fourth of July. I was toting my son on my back when the pain hit, causing me to double over, nearly dropping my son, and clutching the bridge guard rail for support. Mom insisted I get it checked.

After a Cat Scan, Liver/Spleen test and an MRI, all the doctor could determine was that there was a mass on my liver. They even stuck the longest, largest needle I’ve ever seen into my liver to get a sample. Fortunately, it was benign. It was a mysterious cluster of cells just hanging around, reacting to my emotional distress. Whenever I got really angry or really stressed, I had very sharp pain.
The chiropractor I went to was spiritually gifted; so he fed my spirit first, and then used a laser he had built to feed light into my liver. After that, the pain dissipated. But it was the culmination of experiences like these that started me on the path to trying to find the connections to pain, especially once I became a therapist.

When I started searching, I couldn’t find any information until one day when I went to see my acupuncturist. After telling him my theory, the acupuncturist gave me the right key words to search for, and I located the information I had been searching for. In addition, I learned more about this theory of mine while in massage school. After searching this out, I realized that both good or happy emotions, as well as negative, angry emotions can affect your body and are variables of pain.

For instance, there was a woman that came in to one spa where I worked. She stated that she was always so stressed and that her muscles were very tight. She said that she could never seem to get rid of this tightness. She tried to relax while I was working on her, and I did release her muscles a bit in the short time she gave me to work on her.

However, I soon realized why she was so full of tension and stress. As soon as she came out of the massage, she went to the desk and began to complain to the receptionist. I had walked away for a minute, but when I came back, I did not interject into the conversation, because I wasn’t 100% sure that she was actually complaining. I got the details from the receptionist after she left. Her complaint? She claimed I had shorted her on the time. In actuality, I had given her additional time that I did not have to give.

Her complaint was that I had cut her short 5 minutes. However, she apparently was not aware that when you book a massage for say, 60 minutes; that time includes the time it takes for you to undress and dress again, as well as any consultation time prior to the massage.

I had not cheated her at all, but in fact, gave her five minutes above that time by not stopping five minutes before the end of the massage. But she was at the desk fretting and stressing and complaining over 5 minutes. This is why she was always “so tight.” This is why she carried so much stress…she was a control freak that was constantly complaining about everything. You could tell that she was this type of person because of how she expressed her expectations.

Another client, who apparently was aware that emotions can cause pain in the body; came to me asking me to eliminate the pain in her back which she said was caused by anger. She was still grieving, as she had lost her daughter a year previously. However, she was angry because her son-in-law refused to allow her to see her grandchildren.

As she explained this to me, she burst into tears, stating that I must think she was crazy. I assured her that she was not; in fact, she was closer to the truth of the matter and understanding than most of the clients I work on.

She said that she was a teacher, and taught kindergarten aged children. School was about to start, and she said that all this anger was stored in her back. She couldn’t start the school year and be around the children with all this anger in her. She needed me to release it, and I did.

She cried all during the session as a flood of wounded emotions came out of her in a Somatic release. When I was done releasing all that anger and grief from her body, she was smiling and laughing again.

For this reason, we need to look at our emotions as a source of the pain we feel even if we have sustained an injury; because much of this sort of pain is stored in the muscles. This stored pain can pull the muscles, tightening them and possibly misaligning the structure in such a way that would lead to injury if enough trauma occurred. Thus the effect of our emotions must be examined and incorporated into our efforts to find the source of our pain, because we can only fully, and naturally address our pain problems when we recognize the real causes.

The Labyrinth Of Relationships: The Key To Balance

In 2009, I was just beginning my journey of discovery concerning the differences in personality types. I first wrote about it here. Speaker, coach and motivator, Dani Johnson, referred to 4 types, which she identified as Gems. She had a video about a seminar she had done, in which she identified these 4 types. She had the entire seminar separated into these Gem groups.

At one point in the seminar, the song, “Everybody Dance Now,” just started blasting from the sound system. At once almost everyone in one particular group, jumped up and began to dance and gyrate to the song as if on cue, but none was given. It was funny, but insane at the same time, but it so aptly demonstrated the “life of the party,” mindset of that particular personality type.

Since getting that understanding, I began looking for mentors. Considering certain resource limitations, I was elated to come to the realization that there were plenty of available mentors to be had. All I had to do was read a book.

imagePreviously,  I started a series on this Labyrinth of Relationships topic, but due to the convergence of all of my sites into one multisite,  some content got lost. I learned a lot during my summer of frustration, and certain would urge anyone considering such convergences to ensure that you have a host whose tech savvy enough to properly handle a multisite. Thank God I made copies of my content. Thus, I’ve decided to revive this topic because it seemed to be a good one, and I was enjoying the various aspects available to explore.

In view of the purpose of my site, and being pain focused, I believe that the nature of relationships is crucial to analyzing issues of pain due to the emotional triggers. The muscles store such information in the form of tension, and a buildup that can cause a muscular lockdown that could seriously impede freedom of movement. My hope is to mentor you through, so that through awareness, this series may help you to navigate some aspect of your relationships with those in your circle and world.

Now, I had started reading Mentored By A Millionaire, by Steven K. Scott but at the time, I could not complete it. There were a lot of questions he asked in the book that I could not answer then. However, now that book is back on my book list, because I’ve gained a lot of new information and insights since that time, and I feel better equip to begin addressing the questions and exercises he gave in the book.

One of the things his book had was 5 minute personality test. It described the 4 personality types as Lions, Otters, Golden Retrievers, and Beavers. He identified the natural strengths, weaknesses, basic disposition, time management, communication styles, decision making, how they handle pressure or tense situations, greatest needs, and what each type desires. He also identified a few areas of needed improvement for each type.

Since taking this test, and understanding my own personality a lot more, I understand why I view certain things the way I do. One of the exercises was not only to ascertain your own personality, but the personality of others around you; family members, friends, coworkers, bosses, and any other person that you tend to interact with.

My son and I easily figured out the types of many of the people we knew, laughing as we isolated their dominant and sub-dominant types. Knowing this information did help me to some extent. I tried, according to my own personality types, to be more patient with people in opposing type combinations. But, I still struggle with people who have a similar dominant, like mine.

It can also be difficult, because when you come across someone who is extremely unbending in their personality, but communicates like they are being a positive and benign leader;  that person can be very hard to deal with, especially if they are not walking the walk. It’s difficult because after giving that person many opportunities to prove your initial or even general impressions wrong, and they don’t; you just want to disconnect, especially if that person’s word…their trustworthiness has come into question.

However, if the key is found in knowing yourself, then the issue of trustworthiness would not be focused on some potentially, unreliable associate. The first issue would have to be, “How well do you know yourself?” The second issue would be, “How much do you trust yourself?” The trustworthy issue is not in your associates, but in you because of your expectations.

So the meat and potatoes of the issue is, “Do you trust yourself enough to be able to graciously handle the disappointment of an unexpected outcome?” The keys are in you.

  • Analyze and know yourself.
  • Recognize the personality types around you, so you know who you are dealing with.
  • Utilize the skill of  predictability to forecast the outcome.
  • Temper your expectations and stop projecting your desires on others.
  • Trust yourself to gracefully handle disappointments.

Clearing Away Clutter

Sometimes the path to eradicating pain has more to do with the battleground of the mind than a physical problem. There are several barriers to overcome. Most of these barriers have to do with habits and traditions. You may not be conscious of it, but you are trained. Even your bad habits are part of your training that has gotten you into the mindset and patterns of behavior you currently have.

For instance, if you are a person who worries a lot, you are accustomed to living in fear. Either your self esteem is very low, so you worry that nothing you do will work out the way it’s supposed to in your mind; or you are so accustomed to instability, that you never expect anything more; or, you are a person who plans to fail because you fail to plan.

Yeah, that last one hit me like a stone too when I first heard it. The point is, failure to think and at least attempt to chart the course of your life’s trajectory to some degree, will cause unnecessary stress, which will result in not only pain, but health problems.

Your Emotional State Affects Your Body
This is because your emotional state not only affects your organs and systems, but every cell in your body. Part of healing your body and eliminating pain has to do with clearing the clutter in the realm of the mind first. This may mean getting rid of habits that are holding you back, and adopting new, better behaviors to replace them. It can also translate into a physical removal of clutter from your home or life, including cutting ties with individuals that suck the life from you like a leech sucks blood.

Instead of approaching this process like the fast and furious, you may need to take baby steps. If you attack the mountain with baby steps, and keep whittling away at it, eventually your viewpoint will change. You will no longer be looking up at something that seems massive, making you seem small. As you win small battles against the base of that mountain, stones are crumbling and falling.

The process of falling stones will require commitment, because they signify change. Even if you are not always consistent, if you are truly committed to your process, you will not stop. Instead, no matter how slow your progress may seem to you and others,  remember that it is your journey; and being the unique individual you are, your journey will not be like anyone else. The key is to record or keep evidence of your progress. Those milestones will keep you moving forward.

A Test Of Focus
It’s like whenever I get the urge to go on a fast, it takes me a while to actually get from the concept to the actual fast. It might be weeks of getting myself in the state of mind it takes for me to not only start the fast, but to stay consistently on it. I have to uncluttered my mind to some degree, to get there; but the rewards are worth it.

Not only can you lose some weight from this process. You can also gain great clarity. Your mind becomes so clear, and your body gets a chance to rest; particularly your digestive system. This process can be very healing, but I’ll talk more about fasting in another post.

I’ve been going through this struggle, a process that has tested my focus and commitment in several ways for most of this year. I’m sure that those of you who are gracious enough to visit my site often have noticed a lot of changes. I spent the summer in frustration, fighting with my hosting company due to technical errors that occurred as a result of two things.

Their tech’s are not familiar with a multisite, which is what my site now is. This resulted in a lot of misguided advice that ended up costing me the content of one of my sites, along with numerous other problems. This association had to go.

New Associations
I chose to try a host that was outside the country. This hosting company not only cost me less than half of what I was paying before, but included my amazing spam protection free, and tech support that is much better, gracious and capable of handling a multisite. I knew going in that there would be technical problems in the wake of my last hosting company’s disastrous advice and actions on my account.

However, what I didn’t realize immediately was how much my site had grown, now that all the sites were under one umbrella. I had my host’s largest package, and it still wasn’t big enough. Fortunately you can buy extra space in 5 GB increments.

Once the technical issues were resolved, articles needed to be removed or updated; and some articles had to be moved and reposted, especially for the site that lost all content and for adding to the new site. I’ve finally reached the point of feeling like it’s all coming together. Yes, it’s a slow progression, but I just keep pluggin’ away at it. I’m determined to keep pushing until I make that breakthrough I’m striving for.

The frustration of the summer of technical nightmares is gone. It’s time to move on to clear the next plateau or break down the next boulder in my way on the mountain. I try to live in gratitude as much as possible. So I’m thankful for the struggle because it’s building me up and making me not only more determined, but stronger. I may not move through as fast as I want; but when the time issues frustrate me, I clear away the clutter of that issue by reminding myself that, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” (Author Unknown)

Oh No! My IPad Mini Is Damaged!

My iPad Mini fell. I have two covers on it, but when it fell, the second cover, which is also a stand; was folded back, and it flipped over – glass side down, hitting the hard tile floor. The glass shattered.

Needless to say, I was quite upset over this development. My iPad Mini is like my lifeline. The last thing any of us want in this age of technology, is for our media to malfunction in some way. To some degree, its foolish if all you do is social media, but for people that use these forms of media for business purposes, it can be a huge stressor; especially if you cannot fix or replace it immediately.

Anything that causes you stress is going to affect your body, whether you are conscious of it at the time or not. My notes, thoughts, ideas, contact, communication, finances, and entertainment was within that Mini, and I would be lost without it. I could barely see past the fragmented screen, nor tap the surface due to tiny slivers and shards that grazed sharply against my fingers.

201609220721319b4b616f2668beedI needed to get it repaired, but where, and how much would it cost? I decided to check Groupon.

Finding The Right Deal

I found one deal that seemed really good, so I purchased it. Since this was my first Groupon, I got a first purchase discount, so it really lowered the price of the deal. I was elated, until I read the reviews on that company.

I learned that its best to read the reviews first, before purchasing the deal; and not just the first couple you see either. As I read the reviews, I noticed a trend that several reviewers experienced. They stated that the company was back-dooring the customers with Groupons only, charging them an additional $20 after they got to the store for adhesive glue, and thereby eliminating the discount and bringing their cost of service back up to the regular price. The old bait and switch.

I immediately contacted Groupon asking to cancel the order. Since my contact with them was initiated prior to the first three day period being up, and I had not yet opened the voucher, they gave me a credit of the full amount.

201609220722239b4b616f2668beedI then went in search of another service provider to replace the glass on my mini. The price I found that was closest to the discount of the previous company, but it was $20 more. This increase brought the price up to about what I would have paid that first company after the additional charge they were adding.

It’s A Matter Of Principle

How can someone claim to offer a service like glass replacement service at a certain discount, but then not include all the elements required in parts and labor to fulfill and complete the advertised service they offered at that price? And…$20 for glue? Seriously?

I’d rather just outright pay a bit more, than deal with a company that’s making unscrupulous attempts to bait me with one price, then force or manipulate me into a higher one after the fact.

The company I went with is Wireless Proz. The location I visited was in Tamarac, Florida. The first problem I encountered was the address. It is correct, but you will get confused if you are coming from the east side up McNab Rd,  because the numbering for the addresses are from the 70’s through the 80’s twice. It’s like it goes westward from 72nd-81st and stops, then starts again at 74th-80th which is University Drive, the closest major intersection to the west of their location. Its quite confusing so your best bet is to follow the MapQuest and come from University Drive for less confusion.

As for the service, I dropped off my iPad at about 12pm at the shop on  that Thursday. I spoke to Nate, who said it would be ready the following morning at 10am.

Considering storms hovering offshore that Friday, a forecast of rain, and lack of a ride; I set out early via 3 buses, and arrived there an hour later at 9:45; hoping to pick up my iPad and get going before any torrential downpours started. The sign on the door said 10am -7pm M-F. However, no one arrived to open the shop until 10:23am.

One thing that annoys me is when a business fails to open at the time posted. I know stuff happens, but when you have a time posted, there’s an expectation for you to not simply get there just at that time, but earlier; at a minimum, 15 minutes, or however long it takes for you to have you business set up and ready to serve your customers. It’s a matter of respecting your customer’s time, and preventing the aggravation of having to leave and return later.

When Matt arrived at 10:23, I told him that I was there to pick up my mini. He said it wasn’t ready yet. I told him that when I dropped it off, Nate said it would be ready at 10am the next day. I also explained that I had to take 3 buses to get there, and had been waiting for him to arrive since 9:45am.

He said he needed a bit more time for the adhesive to dry, another 30 minutes. So I sat on one of the couches in the store and waited.

After 30 minutes, he told me that the glass was not fully functional and that he needed to order another one to replace it. He said he felt bad that I had been so put out coming there and having to make a return trip.

Say What?

He asked how he could make it up to me, which is almost unheard of these days; when customer service has been thrown out the window, and replaced with virtual sources or outsourced assistance with language issues. So I asked him about a cover I saw on his display wall. This cover had a piece that covered the frame and front edge of the glass, which is why I was interested. He said he didn’t have those for my mini.

What he did have was a used cover that was similar. He said the only problem was that it covered my touch sensor. I told him that I needed the touch sensor because I did not like typing in my code in public.

I also explained that I already had two covers for the mini, and they protected it if closed. If the 2nd cover was folded back, and it flipped face side down, that was where protection was lacking.

Matt then offered to make up for my inconvenience by not only having it fixed by the following day, but by adding tempered glass on it free of charge to protect the glass on the mini in case it gets dropped in the future. I agreed after he explained the function of the tempered glass; and told me the regular price when I inquired, which was $35.

One of the big stressors of this age of technology is frustration from poor customer service. Frustration and anger is a major player in the emotional causes of pain in the body. Not many businesses these days actually give great service, making up for their errors or inconvenience to the customer. I’m very satisfied because this one did.

When I picked up my mini, Nate was there. He verified the offer with Matt, who had gone to pick up supplies. He added the tempered glass with no charge, and I sat in the store a while and tested it. It works perfectly.

Please note that this was an unsolicited review.