Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Well, I did it! Two days in a row, even!  

Yep, I got up before 8 am on less than eight hours of sleep AND started my day with something other than coffee!

Admittedly today, I was hesitant.  I got up and peed, and I went back to bed, and I laid there, and I didn’t fall back asleep in five minutes, so I got up, and got going.

The amount of time it takes to boil my tea, is just the right amount of time to do some high intensity body weight exercises.  It gets the blood pumping and that is nice.  If I can keep this up, I am definitely going to make some incremental changes in my routine, which I must admit, would be very healthy.  For now tea and exercise is a move in the right direction.

I have a small art commission I am needing to get on top of.  It should really only take a few hours, but I need to apply myself and focus. On one hand, I do some of my best creative work when I am running the wire; on the other hand, it’s always nice to get commission projects done and out of the way.

Stylistically, when I paint, I rarely plan, or know what will come out of it.  It’s experimental, it’s intuitive and really non judgmental for me to create.  I just love color, and form.  With commissions, it’s different.  A person, ( often times a stranger) wants something specific, right?  And they see samples of your work, your personal artistic style, and they think “I like this, I want them to do ….”.   As an artist, you can always say “no” if it doesn’t fit you in some way.  But most artists like to make money, and a commissions can pay well.

Anywho, I always wonder what people think when they commission me for work, because I don’t know how my work actually fulfills or translates their vision, (if they have one) or if perhaps they are like me, and they walk in with out expectation.

I haven’t ever had a complaint… so I guess that is good.  I mean, if someone didn’t like something, I kind of hope they would tell me but if they did, I might be inclined to think they were just out to take their internal complaints about something else going on in their life, on some stranger; whom they just paid to worked hard on creating a one of a kind piece of personal vision.

But that’s just me getting all psychoanalytic about it.

This brings me back to changes in the schedule.  I want my creative mojo back.  Writing is great, and I love it.  But I don’t plan that either.  I have no vision of what I will write when I write. Mostly I get one line, and when I sit down to write it, everything just flows from there.  No complaints, but, I am sporadic, and I fluctuate between art mediums like leaves change in season.  This creative constipation, has me boiling for the right inspiration to let free the flood gates.  Because I know, that these long term spells of no creativity, means I was in some other hyper-aware state, picking up on different things.

Eventually I will channel all that into a series of creative projects, much like this series of blogs.  It all sort of explodes and then unfurls in my own personal cycles.

Even my exercise life goes in cycles of activity and no activity.  Healthy, and not as healthy.  I feel very mutable to people and environments because I spend most of my time watching what is happening around me, and it’s strange stuff.  I’m constantly picking up unspoken information around me.  It’s always been that way.

Creative constipation is like, filling your body full of observation to the point you can’t handle any more information.  So one day you pick up a brush, or a pen, or an instrument and something just explodes out of you.  With maybe one line or note or color preference, usually with some mania attached; all that stuff you had been processing for months or years, just spills out in a frenzy.

It’s like trying to chase the wind.

Usually after that initial explosion, (for me) that is when the unfurling begins.  I then start several projects all at once, and work on them simultaneously. I work in layers and it tends to be about the drying game.

So, I don’t know.  There is a time to plan and structure, and there is solid credence in honor of going with the flow.  Again, I repeat, EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY!  We might as well make the most out of those shifts and changes in mood and participation.

Do you go through cycles of creativity, or mood?   Do they coincide with seasons, or maybe the anniversary of a loved one dying?  Maybe you don’t like your birthday, maybe you love Christmas.  How do you deal with those times when your normal activities don’t interest you?  How do you contain your excitement when you bust out of that, or have something to look forward to?

I would love to hear about it in the comments!  If you like this post, click a like and pass it on!  Click the link below to read yesterdays post, and for links to previous posts in this series.

Cheers!

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

 

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Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

All desire Self Authority; Few seek Self Mastery.

A Philosopher; A Priest, a Rabbi, a Motivational Speaker, a Yoga Instructor, a Coach, a CEO, a Professor and Jesus all walk into a bar.  Bartender asks, ” What’ll it be?”  Jesus says ” Nine empty shot glasses.”  The bartender replies, “Is this a joke?”  Jesus says, “No, it’s our monthly meeting of the Self Mastery Social Club.”

Self Mastery is a life long relationship, you may not realize you are balls deep inside.  Some take it in stride, and others shrivel away from the ride.

Have you ever dropped a relationship; a habit, an obsession, a food, a style or a job, like it was a hot potato?  Have you ever just woken up one day, and said to yourself “That isn’t for me anymore?”

Chances are, that you have, and might not even realize the weight of that decision until years later.  Not until you look in retrospect and see how your life changed after making that one little decision.

We are faced with Self Mastery scenarios everyday.  It can be the difference between saying scathing remarks under your breath, or taking a time out to reassess our latent aggression.

There are endless paths to Self Mastery… but sadly, since we are all human; Self Mastery does not equate perfection.

You might be a champion bowler, but your underhand soft ball game is WEAK!  But if you respect bowling and don’t give two shits about softball, what does it matter anyway?

There are several worlds of thought when you get down to Self Mastery.  The Philosopher may believe that Self Mastery, is having their philosophy out in the world.   A Priest may see it as compassionately serving their troubled congregants.  A Rabbi might see it as learning the Mystic Teachings.  A Motivational Speaker may see it as sharing how they overcame adversity.  A Yoga instructor might see it as working through poses.  A coach may see it as producing an All Star Team.   A CEO may see it as building a successful and profitable business from the ground up.  A professor may see it as how many publications they have made, and how many graduates they’ve had.

All of these things are external expressions of the work people put in to trying to better themselves and thereby help the world around them.  Still, these external reflections are not the depth of Self Mastery.

I interpret Self Mastery to be: a hyper-awareness, and a hyper-vigilance toward knowing; listening and doing what is truly best and most healthy in mind, body and spirit for ones self, regardless of  external influences such as environment, company, or perceived judgement.

Basically,  One then takes on, also a hyper-honesty, because when you act from that place, it’s almost like someone is always watching and keeping record of your accountability.  Funny thing though, is the One who is watching You, IS YOU.

Self Mastery isn’t going to go hide in the cupboard eating candy and then deny it later. Self Mastery goes hand in hand with Self Authority and Self Responsibility.  Those three can be some tough mothers.

Most people want to be better then they are, and it’s totally within their control.

Are you one of those people?  If so, sit down and ask yourself what your personal definition of Self Mastery is.  Is it something you can work on, knowing you will never be perfect, and that you will have off days?  Can you reconcile that with yourself, in order to be even a little better tomorrow, than you were today?  I mean, you have the rest of your life to work on it, and it’s kind of like planning to go to the gym; the hardest part is showing up.  But, hey; You would be showing up for You. (Did you know, you are the only person who can truly do that for you?) A better you, is going to be great for you and everyone you deal with on a daily basis.  I would encourage you to take a risk on yourself and give it a go.

 

As always, if you like this post click on that little button that says LIKE!!  Pass this post on to a friend or friends ( if you have many of them.)  And feel free to leave me a comment in the comments section.  Tell me your Self Mastery definition, tell me about a time you just cut someone or something out of your life, and the greater impact that made for you.  I wanna hear your stories!

If you haven’t caught the rest of the Dry July Series… clicky clicky the links below!  Cheers!

Dry July

Dry July- Day One

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Dry July- Day 10~ Compounded Ball of Stress

Dry July- Day 11~ Where is the Energy?

 

Dry July- Day 11~ Where is the Energy?

Okay, maybe I was misinterpreting the information… maybe I read something wrong; but I thought I was suppose to experience some extra energy by now.

The days are going (what seems to me, to be) faster, and yet, I don’t have any more energy then I did before I took this drinking hiatus.  I still wake up everyday,  with that feeling of dragging.  Today, I traded the 1 and a half cups coffee, for a pot of straight Guyusa tea.  I drank that over about three hours, exercised for 45 minutes, and by 3:20, all I could think of was napping.  So, I laid down and it took me no time at all to fall asleep in my bright, day-lit bedroom.

I laid down for an hour and a half, and now I am drinking an unprecedented cup of afternoon coffee, in order to make it another five hours until my grandma goes to bed… wherein I fear, I will get that dreaded late night wind of energy.

Doing a little research, we find out that long term alcohol consumption really plays a nasty mess of a woman’s hormones, which can cause long term complications.

Hormones are the bodies little chemical messengers that travel from the brain, through the blood, tissues and organs in order to regulate biological processes and function.  Alcohol acts as a chemical disrupt-er when consumed.  And after long periods of consumption, alcohol can create long term disruption to the production, utilization and storage of energy; reproduction, blood pressure and bone mass, as well as growth and development.

In women, alcohol can actually bring on early menopause.

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I’ve struggled with an inconsistent menstrual cycle as long as I can remember.  I am going on one of my longest cycles ever, clocking in today at 50 days since my last one.  It feels like some sort of torture with a side of several weeks of PMS.

I can’t help but worry that I may have really fucked myself up; and then I tell myself not to stress about it, because that just releases even more cortisol into my body, and cortisol is half the problem.

Alcohol increases cortisol production, as does cessation of alcohol after long periods of consistent drinking.

Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone, also known as “the stress” hormone.  Spikes in Cortisol can really pack a punch in a life or death situation; but these days people are living in constant stressful mental conditions;  it’s hard to avoid a constant drip of it fueling our daily lives.

The long term effects of flooding the body with Cortisol can lead to bone deterioration, reproductive issues and slowed healing.

Would kids retain this information, if it was part of our education in health lessons?  

I know if these thing were taught, I would have retained them, (but, hey, I am a weirdo.)

I always knew alcohol, “wasn’t good for you,” and that it could lead to reckless or irresponsible behavior; if you were a hard core alcoholic, maybe you would end up with cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney issues.

Education for the youth, about alcohol, tends to lean more toward scare tactics versus empowering intelligent decision making.  I know it can be hard for kids to think forward to the future, given the part of their brain that has any connection to mortality doesn’t fully develop until around the age of twenty-five.  It’s no wonder teenagers participate in this risky and taboo consumption without any second thoughts; especially if that teen starts drinking extra early, around say, thirteen years old.

Thirteen year old’s aren’t asking themselves, “How will this effect my long term bone and reproductive health?”   Thirteen year old’s ARE thinking “If authority says, ‘no’, I want to try it.”   “If my friends are doing it, I want to do it too.”

Alcohol culture is peer approved in most places.  We want to raise Spirits, without asking what the cost is of conjuring them.  Perhaps, this conversation needs expansion.

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Thanks for dropping by my blog!  There is plenty here to keep you reading for a few days.  Feel free to skip around and read my offerings.  Most posts are accounts and observations of my real life.  There is a dash of poetry and spattering of satire and short stories, to give some spice to my corner of the interwebs.

If you appreciated today’s post, give it a like, share it with some friends, and leave me a lovely little comment in the comment section.

To follow my Dry July, visit the links below.   Talk to you tomorrow!  Cheers!

Dry July- Day One

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Dry July- Day 10~ Compounded Ball of Stress

Dry July- Day 10~ Compounded Ball of Stress

Why in already stressful situations, do we compound our stress with intoxication?

Perhaps we lack the physiological understanding, and we take our biology for granted.  Perhaps we don’t care.

As science moves forward with studying the micro systems of our inner workings; there is no excuse for anything other than willful ignorance.

I am keeping it short today.

My challenge to you, is to research some science on one of your bad habits, or shameful indulgences.  Look into brain chemistry, behavior and effect on biology.  It’s all very interesting, and since the world is a big mixed batch of crazy; feel solace in the fact that you are not alone, and some one always has it worse off than you do.

I am keeping on, with Dry July.  I feeling somewhat anti-social today, and I have been procrastinating this post all day.

Here is to a productive and inspired tomorrow!

Follow along with the other Dry July posts at the link below.

Dry July

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Time to get real, and raw about something shameful.

I can’t remember the last time I have had sober intercourse.

Yep.  I am pretty sure the few times I have had “the sex” in the last decade, 97% of the time alcohol was involved.  Now it sounds gross to think about it or to say it out loud.

Listen, I am NOT talking, sloppy drunk.  No.  I am just saying, I hadn’t not been drinking before intimacy.

What does that say about me? I suppose in my twenties, it was cool to have an air of independence and mystery; to brush off the idea of serious relationships.  So, my relationships would be intense for a minute and then just dissipate because one of us would get “too serious” or too disinterested.  And, dudes would come and go, but I still had my bottle of Jameson, or some snobby beer to keep me company as I entertained myself.

It’s true, alcohol really does lower ones inhibitions; but it probably also lowers ones standards.

I am not sure how much of that sex I would have had, had I not been drinking.  My reserve to say ‘no’ would probably be a lot stronger, and in certain situations my insecurities would have been amplified (lending to my already existent frigidity), and in some cases, I probably would have better used my observational skills to know when someone is just saying sweet somethings, in order to get laid.

I’ve been a fool.

Admittedly I have followed in programming like many young women; buying into the belief that women exist for the enjoyment and pleasure of men and acting as such an object. All the time, pretending I had some magical power.  All the while secretly hoping on some wild Hollywood romantic notion, that one worthy man would fall madly in love with me, and that I would feel that way in equal reciprocity… Happily Ever After Style, Traveling the World, and Eating Delicious Food~~~HA!!!

See? How foolish!

Well, I think I had plenty of men fall for me, despite taking them through some psycho/spiritual wringer of litmus tests, all because trust seems to take time in most cases; and even when that trust is obviously established it becomes evident it is still not enough for me (for some reason.)

Is there a Sober Sapiophile Social Club?

Really, intelligence is the biggest turn on.  I am starting to wonder what it’s like to be turned on by a person without the influence of alcohol?

One of the first places the brain shuts down when drinking is the Frontal Lobe, which is in charge of judgement, behavior and emotion.  ” Alcohol may affect emotions, leading to crying, fighting, or a desire to be close to another person.” 

Holy crap, right?  This is the exact part of the brain that would help anyone find a good partner!

So all in all, nothing really lost, and everything gained.  I find the research interesting, and it’s fun treating ones self as a science experiment to a certain degree.  I mean, I have control over my purposeful experiments, and I appreciate that in others.  Ultimately it is about self awareness, and figuring out the lies we have told ourselves forever.  Still, it’s just one day at a time of facing my own truth, and that which I have been purposely avoiding for so long.  The journey is certainly a weird one.

If you appreciate this post, give  a like, share it with your friends, and leave a comment below!

Follow my Dry July series at the links below!

Dry July

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

 

 

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

Out of the numerous videos I have watched over the last week in regard to abstaining from alcohol; almost all of them reassert the same few observations, and one of those observations is, “Without Alcohol Productivity Soars!”

Now, I am going to be honest with you here, like I am in all my other posts… I really didn’t feel any more productive this first week with out alcohol.

My perception and feelings are very hypercritical, especially of myself;  this is when I need the numbers to set me straight and tell me Truth from Fiction.

For instance, I started working out again, two weeks ago, and I have continued to work out while going one week without drinking.

The first week working out, I worked out a total of seven days that week (strictly on treadmill with either 5 lb hand weights or a 50 lb ruck sack), for a total of 3.7 hours, and a total of 13 miles distance, losing a total of 4.25 inches on my body.

Week two of working out sans alcohol, I worked out a total of six days, for a total of 4.5 hours, with a total distance of 13 miles, but with an additional fourteen minutes a day (for four days) of HIIT style exercises bringing my measurements down a total of 9.5 inches on my body (from first day of measuring on June 20).

When we look at ourselves everyday, it can be hard to see our own progress.

In our heads, we imagine our ideals, and when we look in the mirror, we see how far away we are from those ideals.  We stare at ourselves in the mirror, as though we are examining ourselves under a microscope;

“Will he notice this scar?”

” Will some one comment on how flaky my skin is today?”

“Where did that bruise come from?”

“Do you think it will be noticeable?”

“Do you think any one can tell how many ingrown hairs are under my beard?”

“I’m never going to be able to wear a swim suit again.”

Humans are their own worst enemy, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Many of us had the struggle of endearing the process of bullying when we were children.  We were awkward looking, goofy, and vulnerable.  We wanted friends, just like everyone else.  We weren’t the ones the popular kids wanted to sit with.  Likely, we were a teachers pet at one point or another.  We were generally kind hearted kids, who wanted to fit in.  Fitting in sometimes meant, unattainable conformity.

We learned from an early age, that the world isn’t necessarily inclusive; and that’s okay, because we don’t necessarily want to be included in some things, especially if they are destructive or harmful to ourselves or others. 

It’s possible that many of us are still battling that awkward inner child.  The one that is willing to “go along to get along,”;  the one that beats the bullies to the punch through self deprecation. That inner crying voice, that demands you don’t leave the house unless you look your best, and since you never feel your best, you never feel you look your best; so then you become a shut in, afraid of that scary, mocking world outside the door.

This is a seed of depression, few want to talk about.

The seed of depression that is sewn in our impressionable youth, watered by ourselves and our peers, sprouting in those prepubescent years, going into some adolescent maturity,  where the stalks and roots are reinforced by rings of experience.  Causing us to build that thick outer shell, in order to protect our very fragile insides.

Because, like, everyone knows, it isn’t cool to be fragile or vulnerable.

So we physically take on attributes associated with that fragility, to protect ourselves from pain.  We build layers of fat onto our frames, to buffer our inner selves from the hostile outer world. We cultivate biting senses of humor, to lash like swords in uncomfortable situations.  The effect of both of these actions is in itself a double edged sword; for now we open ourselves up to a new scrutiny, and we compound that pain and discomfort into those soft layers of fat while we drench ourselves in our own poisonous rhetoric.

Anyone who has struggled in this way, will tell you, “If I could just lose the weight, it would be one less thing to worry about.  I would feel more confident.”

Anyone can lose weight; however, just losing weight isn’t going to immediately remedy all the compounded feelings and emotions which caused it to begin with.  Without working out the rhyme and reason, you still have a fat person in a skinny or fit body.  We have an obligation to our inner child to explain the difference between the Truth and Fiction.  We deserve to work these struggles out for ourselves with patience and compassion

The Truth reasserts that, regardless of body fat percentage, you are worthy of love!  Regardless of the pain you have suffered, you are good enough.  Despite all the horrible things you may have believed about yourself, you are unique and vital.

I have found that drinking, reinforces those inner childhood insecurities; and alcohols’ direct connection to empty calories and weight gain, certainly shows me that the correlation isn’t only mental.

Week two I am going to pay close attention to where my productivity soars.  I am going to make an effort to call it out and appreciate it, just like I would do for some one else.  I am going to pay attention to what other distractions cut into my productivity.

I am going to be easy with myself, and try and convince my inner child to calm down and assess before panicking and running away or becoming defensive.  I need to revisit some building blocks of safety, in order to convince that part of myself that “it’s okay to be proud of yourself, for small reasons.”

I am going to commit to expressing more gratitude to myself, for taking this challenge; and following the rabbit down this new and exciting hole.
If you have an interesting story to share about a challenge you faced head on, please leave a comment below, and share your experience.  If you enjoyed this post, please share it and leave a like!

If you just found this blog spot, and you would like to read about my other revelations through the first week of Dry July, click the links below!  Cheers!

Dry July

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

 

 

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

I need a new frickin’ hobby, y’all!

Not drinking, hasn’t been a big deal.  My life really didn’t have much going on anyway, so my routine has basically been exactly the way it was before, sans alcohol.

I think that working out daily, has definitely worn my body out physically, while at the same time see my endurance return.

Sleeping is still an issue, because I want to go to bed at 9:00-9:30, and if I don’t get to bed then I get another wind for about 3-4 hours.  My sleep tends to be consistently restless around 3-6:30 am, regardless of my state of mind or tiredness levels.

I get a lot of pride, sitting down and writing daily.

Writing one cohesive, long story, is kind of hard for me. So sitting down daily like this, is inspiring research and creativity.  Sometimes, life feels so mundane, it doesn’t feel worth writing about.  Dry July has given me a purpose to write, and a reason to look at things differently.  It is bringing my awareness around to what I would like to change, and what is in my capacity to change.

I think I need to start a alcohol free social arts club.

I need more to do during the day, to fill some of these hours that pass by filled by vapid FaceBook posts.  It’s an easy fall back when working from home.  I’d like to actually connect with people in a face to face creative way a few hours a week, just for something to look forward to, and something new to talk about with my grandma.  The conflict I find, is that many people work during the days, during the week… and this is often times when I crave social interaction the most.

I’ve lost 3.5 inches off my waist!!!

In the last week, I have probably saved my self from a weeks worth of empty calories from not drinking.  I have been sticking to water, and one and a half cups coffee, with a couple flavored seltzer waters in there.  This in and of itself feels like quite the accomplishment.

I am purposely trying to retrain my brain to look forward to exercise, by reinforcing pride in myself, when I accomplish it for the day.  I tell myself,

” I love it when my hair is soaked in sweat.”  

However my bunions haven’t been impressed with my up tick in physical activity, so hopefully they will adapt, because the pain is no bueno.

My small goal at the end of the month, is to be able to do a half modified push up.  My upper body strength has totally gone to shit, and my core, is weak sauce.

These are things I can control.

That seems to be the theme of Dry July.  Self Control.  Moderation.  Accountability to Self.  Honesty and clarity.  The hardest part so far, is facing how lonely and isolated I have become.  How my weight gain and self image have exacerbated my hermitage.  The truth that though I love being alone, I am still very much a social creature that craves new experiences.  I need to shake up my game a little in order to get some new experiences while still maintaining what needs to be done.

If you have some suggestions on how I might be able to do that, please leave it in the comments section!

Feel free to leave your likes, and share this post!  Read about my first week, day by day, in the links provided below!  Have a lovely weekend!

Dry July

Dry July- Day One

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration