Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!!

Some of the traditional practices of this multi-layered season have been made playful. We laugh in the face of death, wear costumes that play on our fears, and give away sweets to traveling bands of eager children, who threaten us with “tricks” unless we give them treats. Just under the surface of our playful pumpkins, costumes, parties and decorations, lies our biggest human anxiety: we die and so do those we love. Eventually, we will cross that veil into whatever it is that lies on the other side, —and what that is, we cannot know.
Check out the rest of Ministrare's post about Fall and ancestors. It is really lovely.

May you enjoy the beauty and breadth of Fall today; the bustling of costumed children, and the magic of adults playing dress-up. May the smell of hot apple cider and pumpkin spices cross your path, and may the nearness of death make you take a deep spicy breath full of life.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Another Annoying Quiz Result

This is an interesting test. It says my mind and spirit are doing remarkably well considering my dismal social life. I think it was a pretty good quiz, except I think they used my small family against me, because I would rate my family life higher. The romantic love section is sadly accurate, even optimistic. The finance and body are also about right. I'm going to give my friends and family section a hardy 7, for lots of love with room for improvement, and up my overall score to a 7. (Come on finance and love!!)

Via: It's all one thing.
This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
5.8
Mind:
7.3
Body:
5.9
Spirit:
8.6
Friends/Family:
4
Love:
2.1
Finance:
3.6
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

The Womens!

This weekend I went on a Women's retreat. It was awesome. I didn't rest as much as I wanted to, but I did get to connect with a lot of neat women. I have been wishing that I had more women friends in the area. I realized at the retreat that sometimes when I feel lonely, I am just not seeing all the people who reach out to me. I was just given so much love and positive energy. It was awesome.

Blog Categories with blogger

What!? I searched forever for ways to add blog categories to blogger and now I find three links in quick succession. Rock on, little internet!

Here they are:
I was using technorati tags, but it was a pain to copy and paste them every time. I'm going to look into the methods described in the links. Liking easy, I am going to experiment with Orangewise's way first. Result: Does not give a comprehensive list of links. Conclusion: easy, but sadly, sucky.

Does anyone know of any more ways? Does anyone have an "in" with the Blogger people so we can just convince them to make Blogger category enabled? Are you even working on it Blogger people?? (Don't get angry, Blogger-gods, I appreciate all the free bounty. I'm just askin.)

Oh, oh, and check it out! People even have theories about categories! Check out this article by Clay Shirky on Categories, Links, and Tags. I decided to actually read it, and it's fascinating, especially if you get a little anal about your ontology.

Friday, October 28, 2005

All the gory details (I just couldn't tell you at the time.)

Well, one thing I can say about getting colonic hydrotherapy, it makes you want to chew your food well. Did you know that carrots often do not get digested? And you don't even want to know about nuts and seeds.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another previously unpublished Old post: (Braidwood claims brilliance) from this Sept.

I had another brilliant idea: Churches are like floating neighborhoods in our mobile community. No wonder America is so much more religious than our European counterparts. We need our churches for stability.

Old posts not previously published: Real Life Update, The internal world (from Aug 16th)

Really, a lot of what I do in my life is internal. Some years when it might have looked like I was accomplishing nothing, I was actually working really hard, going to therapy and doing other internal transformation work. Many of my goals have to do with how I'm feeling and the processes I use and how I think. I feel like it's my soul journey. So, this summer I decided that I wanted and needed to focus on my soul journey again, thus began: The Summer of Transformation!

I am making progress. Soul journey progress is always faster and slower than I think it will be. Faster because the slow and steady inner work I do can change everything in my outer life nearly instantly. Slower because I feel impatient and want to hurry and do inner work which is just opposite of how inner work goes, for me anyway. For me, inner changes are usually a result of practices, very slow and steady practices like writing in my journal or just being with myself and noticing how I am feeling. By their very nature, they can't be hurried through. One result that I am noticing is greater self-acceptance and a feeling that my desires are good. Oh, that feels refreshing. It's such a little seeming shift, but it is huge. When you know you can trust yourself, you don't have to fight with yourself. (Especially pertinant for people who relate to the enneagram personality type 1.)

This is one of my favorite poems in that vein.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The only thing

A response to a video I wrote for school tonight. I'm sharing it because I think it's timely.
Someone in class said that faith is the opposite of reason. I disagree. I think faith is the opposite of fear. Most people who have faith or religion as a part of their lives also use reason, and are willing to let other people see things in a different way. I think fundamentalism rises when fear rises, as the video showed so well. Some of the fear is a natural response to poverty, feeling powerless to become a part of the mainstream, and to a rapidly changing world. As we saw in the video, fear is often spurred on by disingenuous leaders. In contrast, I saw the leaders who were sincere encouraging and uplifting people when they spoke to them.

I used to be confused by the religious right because they say they are followers of Jesus Christ, and yet, as a group, they are in favor of using guns and war. They often seem angry and hateful. Now I’m not confused by it. Their expression of Christianity is an expression of fearful fundamentalism, just like fundamentalists of other religions, not the expression of people following a century old leader who says to “turn the other cheek.” The video emphasized the similarities between fundamentalists from different religions when it showed fundamentalist Jewish people in Israel at a shooting range. If you take away their yarmulkes, they would look like stereotypical Christian fundamentalists who belong to the NRA.

I don’t think there is a split between world religions. I don’t think there is a split between being religious and using technology or being scientific. I think there is a split between fundamentalism and faith, between clinging to the past and moving forward with hope. Pat Robinson and the Ayatollah Khomeini, and other fear mongering leaders, have much more in common with each other than they do with faithful followers of their respective religions. I don’t think fundamentalism is a matter of individual character flaws either. I think fundamentalism rises out of fear which is a natural reaction to very real outer circumstances. It is also a reaction to imagined outer circumstances. Pat Robinson gave a terrific example of fear mongering on the video, when he told his Christian audience that atheists and humanists were out to hunt them down.

With all my heart I believe in democracy and believe that people should be allowed to worship how, where, and what they may. I think any force fighting for a theocracy is inherently unfaithful and fearful. To ensure that we all continue to be able to freely and responsibly search for meaning, and continue to have many other freedoms, I think we need to make individual changes, and policy changes. Politically, and in business we need to act with the knowledge that having “haves” and the “never-have-a chance-of-havings” is dangerous to everyone. We don’t need to be compassionate to work for a flatter world. (Although I think compassion is soul healing.) We just need to have a reasoned assessment of what is in our own self interest. I think we need to do everything we can on a policy level to allow everyone in the game. On an individual level, I hope we will all contribute to the environment of hope rather than fear. One way to do this is to see our underlying similarities and avoid demonizing other people. Another way to do this is to be careful what we put in our minds. For example, we can choose to watch real news, and refuse to support fear mongering. Education, one of my personal favorites, is also a good solution to fear, especially for the people who are mostly making choices based on imagined fears.

Something I really admire about the British is how they responded in WW II. They were under attack and they could have easily been overcome by Nazi forces, but they rallied together as a country. They didn’t give up, they made sure their cities were blacked out, and took their street signs down so an invading army would get lost. I think their tenacity saved them. In our individual lives and as a society, our courage has saved us again and again, and will continue to do so. I think we are in a time that exemplifies the saying that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Knowledge Management Links

Oh yeah, managing all that incoming and self-generated information can leave you with scattered info all over the place. What do you do with all that stuff? I save webpages as bookmarks, keep well organized computer and paper files, and cut and paste information I want to keep into my email drafts and into this blog. There must be a better way! Below are some links about knowledge management concepts and tools.

Knowledge Management
Personal Knowledge Management Services and Software Applications
Going beyond personal knowledge management to group km
Further Links

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Listen and download some free music

Rock on. I never stole (I mean downloaded) illigal music off the internet, but here is a playlist by Seb of free music. Oh yeah, S├ębastien Paquet's weblog is also cool. He is a smartie, and he is interested in social software, blogs, and much more! :) Yo, check it, and maybe even build your own playlist.

The Little Princess

I went swing dancing the other night. Thanks to my friend C. who wrote and said I should come, and to my friend Andrea who called and said, "Proceed forthwith from your house noweth!" (I'm paraphrasing.) She knew I was in a bummer mood and wisely said I should get out of my house.

I had a great time and I think it was largely due to me respecting my princesshood. Yes, I'm a closet princess. It all started when I was little and my family used to call me a little princess, and they didn't mean it as a compliment. I even had a shirt which said, "Little Princess" on it. It was pink with sparkles, I wore it backwards so I could see the words. I remember wearing it when I visited my step-brother in prison, and I still have it in my cedar chest.

I also read "The Little Princess." It sparked many a fantasy and I, being jealous of the little Princess, thought she got her comeuppance when she had to go live in the attic. But then, she did treat the little servant girl kindly, and I was glad when she got rescued by the monkey. Why, oh why, couldn't a monkey rescue me?! But I digress.

After being accused of being a little princess, I had to put my tiara and all my pink girlishness under wraps. It wasn't until I was in my mid-twenties that I started to reframe my princessness. I moved in with two other princesses. They were more clearly princesses, and one day my roommate came home with a skirt that twirled. "Oh, I love skirts that twirl!" I said. "Of course you do," she said assuringly, "all princesses love skirts that twirl." Yes, she knew I was a princess too. Believe it or not, it was a revelatory moment for me. I just sat there, (on the bathroom floor, as it happens,) stunned. I mean, my mouth was open and my eyes were wide. I was a princess too, and it was ok.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Your own personal DJ's

Pandora is a cool idea. Musicians have analyzed thousands of songs based on their musical characteristics. You type in a favorite artist or song, and then they create a playlist based on the musical elements in the song you chose. The idea is that you will like similar songs. It seems pretty cool. You can try it out for 10 hours for free to see if you like it.

I put in "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a Small Town" by Pearl Jam. You know, the one that goes, "hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away..." The first song they played for me was Donegal Express by Shane MacGowen and the Popes. You can give the song thumbs up or down, buy it, or make a new playlist. You can aso find out the answer to "Why this song?" The answer in this case:
...Because it features folk influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, melodic songwriting, major key tonality, and a twelve-eight time signature.
Hmm. Cool! I might have another entry for my Christmas list. Now I'm just wondering what songs I should put in. Any suggestions?

Free blog, wiki, or website tools

Check out Blogbox! You can get a free weather report, mp3 player, and more.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Blog scorecard or cool things you wish your blog could do

Here's another great post on "How to Save the World" about the ultimate blogging tool. Do you have anything to add?

Therapy & Coaching with Gifted & Creative Adults

Have you ever noticed my URL says "my refrigerator doot?" It's a typo which turned into a joke from a URL that was meant to be: "My refrigerator door." I originally thought of this blog as an electronic version of things I would stick on my refrigerator door. That's how I'm using it today, so don't mind me :) As you can see, I'm stealing things directly from people's websites. I hope that giving them credit keeps me ethical! Apparently not; here is another pilfered article set right.

From Gifted Adults by Lynne M. Azpeitia:
The Role of the Therapist & Coach with Gifted Adults

Gifted adults work best with therapists and coaches who collaborate with them. Collaborating is key because gifted adults are independent thinkers who maintain an internal locus of control and do not automatically adopt or rely on the opinions of authority figures for direction or instruction on what to do or how to do it.

While gifted adults may respect a therapist or coach’s ability and experience, they also respect their own. Any suggestion, solution or direction offered to them will be thoroughly considered on its own merits and if selected, customized to the gifted adult’s own situation. It is very important that the therapist or coach not take this personally if they are going to work with gifted adults.
(The colors are mine.) Check out the rest of the article at Gifted-Adults.com.

A giftedness self-test

I'm shortening this stolen article so that it only contains a respectable amount of quotes and a link back to the source, and color. :) Cheerio! (I just watched Wallace and Gromit.)
Even if you have doubts about the extent of your giftedness, you will really bring your talents to life if you will embrace your drive to become, serve, create, achieve, and contribute.

Self-recognition is not to fuel egotism or elitism, but to align with a more powerful, creative part of you that will let your heart, your knowledge, your talent loose on the world. Mary Rocamora, founder and director of Rocamora
1. General Characteristics
  • Do you have a large vocabulary?
  • Are you multi-talented?
  • Do you have so many interests and abilities that it is hard to focus your energies on developing any of them to your satisfaction?
  • Are you possessed of an unrelenting (and possibly off-the wall) sense of humor?
  • Can you occupy time usefully without external stimulation?
  • Are you persistently goal-directed in your behavior?
  • Is your creativity apparent in all areas of endeavor?
  • Do you have the need and the energy to develop more capacity?
2. Entelechy
Derived from the Greek word for having a goal, entelechy is a particular type of motivation, need for self-determination, and an inner strength and vital force directing life and growth to become all one is capable of being. Gifted people with entelechy are often attractive to others who feel drawn to their openness and to their dreams and visions. Being near someone with this trait gives others hope and determination to achieve their own self-actualization.
(Deirdre Lovecky, "Warts and Rainbows: Issues in the Psychotherapy of the Gifted", Advanced Development, Jan., 1990)
  • Are you directed by an inner vision of your purpose in life, or have a dream that is all-consuming?
  • Are you highly motivated to be all you are capable of being?
  • Are you deeply involved in creating your own destiny?
  • Do you continue to believe in yourself and your vision, even when no one else does?
  • Are others attracted to your vision, wanting to participate?
I love the word "entelechy!" If you do too, you're probably gifted, but just to be sure, check out the rest of the self test at Rocamora.org.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Polygamy and the Man Shortage :)

This is the comment I left at Feminist Mormon Housewives on Lisa’s Ultimate Polygamy Post
Well, I might feel differently if I were married, but I can sort of get the polygamy thing, not really the Mormon version, but the I-have-several-sisters-and-best-friends-that-I'm-sealed-to-forever, and what the heck, a lover or two or three. Growing up Mormon, I thought the idea of polygamy was harsh, but when I got to college and had boyfriends when my friends did not, I wanted to share my boyfriends for all the non-sexual things guys can do- dancing, walking arm in arm, carrying heavy things, and even comforting guy hugs. Men just have an energy that I like and if my girlfriends didn't have a man, then I had an urge to share! I can also be very jealous if I don't feel like the primary person in my guy's life. I think my generousity was based on feeling securely loved. I can even imagine in another time and place that I wouldn't mind my husband having sex with someone else (ok, that's a real stretch!) if I was still his alpha and omega. That's sort of where the idea of polygamy breaks down for me, not everyone can be alpha and omega. Ok, if I'm in heaven and there's no men left, and my husband is unwaveringly in love with me, and there is a lonesome woman up there, and we can't just create another man for her or borrow one from a distant galaxy, I would be willing to share. I admit it. I can't help it! It would be suck to be lonesome for all eternity. Is this why the Gods kept coming down from Olympus to have affairs with mortals?
ps: I just accidentally published this on an old school blog!!! I deleted it quick, hopefully quick enough! Otherwise, ummm, yeah, hi old classmates.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The bear people

I'm one of those people who have seasonal affective disorder, with the fantastically appropriate acronym: SAD. Below is an article if you want to read more about it. Basically, when the days get shorter, people with SAD feel more sleepy, less social, and they want to eat lots of carbohydrates. They want to hibernate. They are the bear people.

Hibernating is inconvenient in this modern world, and I'm all for flouting mother nature on this one, but let's be real, it's not a disorder, it's a normal reaction to the change in season. You want to hole up, put on some weight for the winter, and sleep more. I could happily spend the winter season in a warm, bright house with my family, and all the food we stored for the winter. I'd read, and listen to Pa play the fiddle. Just don't ask me to go out, and don't ask me to do anything. I think the interesting thing is people in the general population whose pineal glands mistake artificial light for sunlight and don't have that reaction, that's a disorder! But it's a helpful and convenient one.

Exposure to sunlight or a lightbox in the morning helps many people. There is an article in this month's Scientific America about it. I have a light box, but when I moved to a sunnier place I didn't think I'd need it. I'm going to get up at 7 every morning and take a walk, hopefully that will help my body pretend I shouldn't be hibernating. Good luck bear people!

Here's an article about SAD on a buy-your-term-paper website. (Can you imagine writing term papers for your job? Ugh.)

The Center for Environmental Therapeutics has a good questionaire about SAD. I took the quiz and it told me that the best time for me to do light therapy is at 7AM! I don't know how they came to that conclusion, but for years my gut instinct has been that 7AM is my optimal waking up time.

NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) has a good overview article about SAD.

Me and Dooce are on the same cycle or why I missed the computer simulation about system models

Things I'm not good at: remembering what people's cars look like, having any idea when my period is coming.

My first clue is when I suddenly start crying and feel that life is really not worth living and wondering how I will make it through the next 80 or so years. So, last night my teacher says something to me and it makes me cry. Luckily only one side of me is weak; my right side. I don't know what this means, but sometimes if I am trying not to cry but can't help crying, only my right eye will cry. This is very useful if I'm a passenger in a car, as I've had many opportunities to discover. One side of me can be relentlessly leaking while I'm carrying on a normal conversation with the ignorant driver.

Last night, I tried to pass off my crying as something in my eye, and this could have been a success. I also used my time honored tradition of thinking of a rock. I don't know why this works for me , but it helps. I even drew a picture of a rock on my notebook paper. Yes, I'm a 30-something master's student and I was trying not to cry in class by repeating everything my professor said in my head while looking at a picture of a rock, so I didn't have time to say to myself, "Nobody likes me!" As I said, this could have worked. Then my professor, who had continued teasing me, 'cause we're just that kind of fun loving class and I can (usually) take it, came up to me during the break and said with his kind little eyes, "You know I was kidding, right?" My averted eyes and non-committal mumble caused him to repeat. Then my classmate next to me tried to joke with me. I had to hurry and leave. Don't look at me with kind eyes when I'm thinking, "rock!"

I rushed down 3 flights of stairs to a bathroom in the basement that I found when I was new and didn't know where my classes were. Yes, it was where I remembered it from 2 years ago. The whites of my eyes were both bright red, and I started sobbing witht he gasping breaths and everything. Then it was just unrecoverable. My face was blotchy and wet and the sight of my crumpling face in the mirror was making me laugh between sobs. Then someone knocked at the unisex bathroom door. A man with a long beard, a red bandana, and some peircings was leaning against the wall waiting. I hoped he didn't think the unflushed stuff in the toilet was from me.

Outside I was suprised by a beautiful sunset, which always helps. The air was crisp and I walked quickly towards my car, thinking, "I'll look in the mirror of my car and if I can look like I wasn't crying I'll go back to class." Unfortunately, I got in a crowded elevator full of psychologists. They were talking about feelings and how you should just express them. Everyone got off at another floor except me, and one little dark-haired lady. Do you know how you can hold it together as long as no one speaks to you? Or if they at least speak to you in an impersonal tone of voice? "Are you ok?" She asks me. Still, I manage to nod and not cry. "Do you want to talk about it?" I don't know what I mumbled. "It it helps, I am a psychologist." Well, thanks a lot lady. Now you've done it. I just started sobbing, my crumpled blotchy face beyond help. True to form, I felt despair of life ever being worth living for the rest of the night, and to top it off, Tivo messed up and did not record Gilmore Girls. Sometimes it's the little things that count. I have to go back to class tonight with the same proffesor. The friend I went crying to, who also made me cry again, has advised me to say that I had a lot going on that day and had to leave, and that's why I missed the computer simulation about system models.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Bitter grateful

Today as I was stretching in NIA, after we were dancing to music as we thought of something/s we're really greatful for, I thought, "I'm going to think of what I'm greatful for everyday. I'm going to post everything I'm greatful for on my blog! I'll do it everyday until the end of the year! I'm going to rename my blog 'Braidwood Praises,' or "Braidwood Thanks.' " Sometimes I'm just TOO much!

Well, I just read my email, and I am going to have to amend my posting strategy. First I'll post everything I'm bitter about, then I'll post greatful. That will work much better.

Bitter:
GA! Everyone is nominating my co-chair for our church's outstanding service award!!! This is very annoying for many reasons. Most of all it is annoying because I was going to nominate her- I had no thought of myself- really. But I thought I would nominate her in private so it wouldn't look like an inside job because we are co-chairs. I was feeling all proud of her and glad she would be nominated. And then at our meeting someone else publicly nominated her, and someone else seconded it and now she just thanked two more people who nominated her on our email list!! Well isn't that sweet. Here I am having long email conversations with people who: don't like the way we vote, don't understand how our list works, need such and such, and she is emailing a thank you to her many admirers. I really like my co-chair. (GA!) and like how we work together, so I knew I had to get this out somewhere. Again, GA! This is so irritating. I'm finally sympathizing with that protoypical invisible office worker who really runs everything but gets no credit. Oh yes, I have worked long effective hours. So, I ran a bad meeting once. GA!!!

Oh yeah, and I'm greatful for:
The rain, the cuddly cat, warm Mexican style chicken soup, Gilmore girls, that people let me be their co-chair (GA!!!) ok scratch that one for now, my fun projects I am working on, my talents, that I like dancing, the fun parties I went to this weekend, that my friend came to NIA with me, that I have fun Christmas and Thanksgiving plans, my new NLP guide. GA! Goddammit, give me some credit! (Sorry, sudden reversion to bitter.) And... I'm very greatful I did not give this link to my church group!! Ha! :) People who have it, and you know who you are, SILENCE!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ahh...

She loves the moon and she said said "kindred spirit." Ah, French Toast Girl. I just felt not so alone for a minute.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

I'm back!

My computer would not connect to our house network. Now it is back on, mysteriously. Thankfully! I've got to get myself all situated again back in my own cyber space. :)