A Little Fun

Now and then I get this urge to create things. Now and then I get this urge to do something about different.

Advocacy can be fun, it can be different, but it can also be exhausting and time consuming. There are a ton of amazing lupus advocates out there in the world. People who organize walks, fund raisers, charity auctions and meeting with the government.

I do not do any of those things. Not because I don’t want to, I just don’t have the energy or the capacity in some cases. In other cases it’s because it’s not within my area of expertise. Let’s face it, my skills are very narrow and not lending too much to advocacy.

So this https://keys4knowing.wixsite.com/mysite is my attempt at creating a little something that promotes lupus awareness in a fun and easy way. Take a look, let me know what you think!

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Don’t Forgot To Include Me

The four-footed one does not like to be left out of anything happening in the house. If you are in a room, she must be there, immediately. We had to train her to NOT go into the bathroom with us. And given her curiosity she was very interested as to what was happening in that room. Right down to wanting to see what a person was doing while sitting on that odd chair.

I’m pretty sure if not for such strong food reinforcements she would still be trying to figure out what is going on in that room today. Which may have helped reinforce her need to be in the kitchen whenever a sound comes from that room. You open a door and she is right there. Pull off a place of food wrap? Yep you better believe she has to be right next to you. Because hello, there is food!

She’s an awesome companion when it comes to doing laundry as she likes to sort the clothes by dragging them across the floor or curling up on them. Before they are cleaned. Don’t worry though, cleaned clothes are not safe from her either. She has been known to help pull freshly laundered items out of the dryer to drag across the floor.

Today I had some parcels arriving, so I put her in my bedroom with the door closed while I dealt with the delivery. She was not happy about this. Not one bit. She protested, she barked and she whined. When I moved the boxes into another room to open them up in peace, she pushed her way in and then attempted to climb up so she could look in the boxes. Evidently I wasn’t going fast enough for her standards as she tried to get a paw in the box and help dig the items out.

So the question is, why is it okay for her to be a part of everything that goes on in the house, except when she wants to be left to her own devices? Why is it okay for her to bar people from her safe spot?

The Craziness of Exam Time

My students tress this time of year.  They stress over final exams.  They stress over their marks and the way end of this semester runs tight up to the holidays.  They stress they won’t have enough time to enjoy the vacation time.

And the stress bears out in various ways.  Some students fuel up on too much caffeine and unhealthy eating.  Others protest that they will never need to know what I teach them.  Some unfortunately decide to disappear at this time.  They never sit their finals and so they usually don’t pass the course.  Which no doubt causes them more stress.

And if I could,  would tell each and every one of them the same thing.  I provide them with information, ideas and concepts.  What they make of any of this is completely up to them.  Just as what they decide to do with these things.

I suspect these are true for us as adults as well.  We receive so many different ideas, pieces of information from all over and concepts to try or discard as need be.  What we make out of any of this is up to each of us.  And it is acceptable to question of doubt what we have been provided.  Just as it is okay to set aside or no longer hold onto things you once did.

The real final exam is the one we all take, the one that is called life.  If you spend too much time studying and perfecting your understanding you may miss out.  Because unlike my classes where you must answer questions about a given topic at a specific time, life is neither a written exam, nor a paper.  Life doesn’t really provide for a great deal of study time or perpetration.  The key to the exam of life is to just get on with it.  Reach for your dreams.  If you are scared, take a deep breath and jump on in.

Traditionally Speaking and Practice In Life

The shaman (used as a universally applied term) I have studied would be shocked at the email I received today. It was an invitation that came out of nowhere to study free of charge the arts of the shaman. I could complete the education from the comfort of my own home. If I wanted to, I could do all the work in pajamas and fuzzy slippers. (Not that I own fuzzy slippers, but if I had them I could wear them!)

And here is why they would have been shocked by the email. Their years of apprenticeship was heralded by a life-changing and often near life-ending event or illness. They did not have the luxury of learning the healing plants, trance states and symbols in the comfort of their own homes. Certainly not in the comfort of their pajamas and potentially fuzzy slippers.

Rather theirs was an apprenticeship through struggle, with doubt and fear at some points. Each of them have spoken about points during their apprenticeships where they wanted to leave, but knew they had been chosen and even if they did leave, they’d have no real life within their community.

None of them were educated online. Instead they were immersed in the darkness of unknowing, slowly finding their way and the light through knowledge They talked about times where to fail was to do and other times where even their teachers could provide them with answers. Sometimes, according to them, there is simply silence and the trick is to know that the silence means something is not meant to be.

Granted there is a resurgence in the shamanic movement amount mainstream society. We see things we cannot explain through western eyes if you will. There are things science is just being to understand that these healer who practice a different way have known for thousands of years, passing the knowledge down to the next healer. They are, in some ways, far more connected to the rhythm of life.

Would an online course provide me with the same skills and knowledge? Probably not. But it also means not dealing with bug bites, uncomfortable locations, lacking in sleep and food as I fumble around trying to make sense of the unknown. And in the end, if I really want to, I can call myself a shaman. But having worked with the traditional shamans, I know that it wouldn’t be accurate nor honoring their skills an wisdom.

Tripping Towards Knowledge

A cup of tea, that’s what he held as he bid me to sit down on a cushion.  In the market he had offered to show me the doorway to knowledge.  Now, in a small house, he offered me a colourful, plump cushion and a muddy looking cup of tea.  Judging from the decor, I wouldn’t have been surprised to find a magic lamp and flying carpet tucked lovingly away somewhere.

This tea, I knew, would be all the magic I’d need.  In theory the genie that would be set free was from my inner self instead of a lamp.  My soul, or was it my mind, would be the only thing going off on a magic carpet ride.  My body would remain firmly anchored on the cushion.  At least that was how I understood it before I took my first sip of the tea.

After two cups of the most foul-tasting brew I’ve ever had, it was very evident that my carpet was like a bucking mule in the most turbulent of air.  It was as if I was handed a magic carpet with no lessons or instructions provided.  And like my typical cocky self, I just jumped on and took off.  And of course the carpet has no steering mechanism nor does it have safety belts.

How long and far I travelled I couldn’t tell you.  I couldn’t even say where I traveled to or whom I interacted with.  All I know was Disney has no ride at all like this, and it’s probably a good thing.  For this trip had horror, paranormal and I’m not sure what all else in it.  I do recall a laughing head that seemed highly amused that I sought knowledge.

A large bat that kept its head tucked in its wings told me that knowledge might hold the key to some things, but it would also destroy some things at I held important.  The bat cautioned me to scan my heart as well as my ego before seeking certain pieces of information because once something was displayed, it couldn’t be taken back.

The journey ended long before I gained any information from the beings I encountered or the places I visited.  And it’s just as well because I was exhausted and unsure of what had happened.

the man who offered me the tea told me we had travelled the first road and onto the path of enlightenment.  If I came again in a few days I could venture further into knowledge.  But he felt the need to caution me.  He told me I should spend the next few days asking myself what I wanted out of life as well as what I was willing to give up.  He told me the tea would take everything I held dear in exchange for the answers I sought.

I didn’t return, although I wanted to.  I became too ill to carry on and headed back home.  I’ve always wondered if the magic carpet and my inner genie would welcome me back.  I’ve also wondered if the tea had been made to taste better!

Secret Knowledge

It’s strange to know that you never really know the person you live with.  Sure you may have been with him/her for years.  Sure you may have shared all sorts of experiences and secrets, but does anyone ever really share all of their deepest and darkest thoughts, hopes and secrets.

I like to think I know Beloved pretty well.  I like to think we don’t have a lot of unknown between us,  up the fact is there is a lot I don’t know about him.  A good portion of his childhood he keeps under wraps.  And liken yield the really big fears, the ones about failure and such, he keeps to himself.

Lit isn’t that he has some dark hidden past that I worry or wonder about.  I know for some people this isn’t to be taken lightly, some people have very big things, the size of elephants, hidden in their past.  I think if I worried about something as big as an elephant coming out of Beloved’s  past I’d be close to becomIng undone.

The truth is I don’t mind him having a few wee things he keeps to himself, after all I keep some things just for me.  I would, however, mind if he won the lottery and never told me.  Or if he had killed someone.  Then again perhaps if he did kill someone it might be better not knowing!

How about you, do you know your partners deepest and darkest secrets?  How do you feel about this?  Can you ever really know someone?

Human Chameleon

It never occurred to me, not really, that I have adapted and adopted to my second home as easily as my first.

Perhaps it is because I take bits and pieces from all sorts of cultures, food and concepts. Whatever strikes my fancy and whim is tried and if it works it stays. Sure it’s all modified, but that’s okay.

A colleague recently pointed out that to a degree I am like a chameleon, blending into this backdrop of North America. And in the blink of an eye, albeit a long blink of an eye and an airplane ride, I blend into my Beloved’s European world.

I didn’t plan this, not really. Actually I had no idea hat there would be differences such as there are. Instead I only knew that Beloved’s main home worked for him, and his established life and career, just as mine worked for me. Neither of us thought the other’s career was lesser than the others and so we maintain two households on two seperate shores.

Beloved has smoothed into this world of ours rather easily as well although I suspect there are times he struggles with it. There are some things he cannot give up from his home country, one of them is the correct way to make things like tea.

I’d like to say I’ve adopted a “when in Rome,” attitude, complete with a shrug of the shoulders, but that’s not really true. Guess having been exposed to so many cultures throughout my life, I’ve had time to learn and find joyous things in all of them.

This colleague of mine, the one who made the remark, pondered if there were places I wouldn’t fit. And of course there are. I’m Western enough to stand for this idea at women are not subservient, that women are just as capable as any man. I also don’t hold my tongue nor do I sit by as things happen. I believe we are all equally and entitled to things like education.

My friend decided that there were places that a feminist could not live. There is truth in this, but I quickly pointed out I’m not really a feminist. Not really. Sure I won’t get married because I don’t think I need it. What does the piece of paper prove these days? The whole idea of marriage from a historical sense indicates that one person is of less worth than the other.

What I am, when you get right down to it, is an equalities type of person. Equalities regardless of gender or race or religion. Not in the sense of socialist either, for we should get paid for our efforts of work. Rather I believe we all are capable of things and sure gender gets in the way of how we do things, but that’s about it.

So I guess maybe as also part of the chameleon disguise I chose to wear. I enjoy observing and absorbing things that I find positive and uplifting. I chase knowledge like it is an elusive butterfly, not carrying where I have to go for the knowledge, but only that I’ve given it it’s full breadth. Again it helps to be a bit of a chameleon. Perhaps that’s what I do best, just blend and mix as needed.

Some might be insulted by what my colleague said, but not I. I took it as a compliment and started to reflect on other people I know and how they do these things.