On Not-Christmas, TWA, and A New Alice

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Good morning, campers!

Kiki Lamers

This is what I have been like lately.

When I had the botox treatment in the early summer i was so well immediately and for ages. However, it is not now summer, and there are are a lot of TRIGGERS firing at me all over the place. However, I have rejigged the festive/stresstive season for myself, which means it doesn’t really matter if I am unwell/not up to whatever.

I don’t have children and I am not a christian. There is no need to engage in ANY of the things. And a visit to LA several years ago introduced me to Jews go to the Cinema Day which involves movies and Chinese food. We gave it a whirl last year, and it was GOOD.

I still buy presents for three people, but cards have gone the way of all things. I have a packet of cards for emergencies which have lasted me probably about five years.

I have spent xmas day in the London Buddhist Centre, and I can recommend that.

My disengagement with the world of xmas started with my hatred of traveling at this time of year. Between the weather, the crush, and the drunks I say why travel when you don’t have to – after all, the origins of xmas is all about hoarding food, having a feast at the nadir of the year IN YOUR CAVE not traveling to some other person’s cave bloody miles away in the snow.

Then I got ill. The initial phase of my elongated illness came just before xmas. I may have done cards that year, i don’t remember, but my presents were restricted to and based on who came to visit me. I had a haul of soft toys, and I took them apart and made frankenstein toys that I called hideoms.

here’s a couple i had left. i did a little photoshoot with them

I wrapped them up and people chose which parcel they wanted.

I always think I am much better than I was then, but I’m not sure I’d have the get up and go to make stuff or do the photoshoot now, but maybe I do more on a daily basis – I do walk my dog most of the time, after all. I probably have fewer push/crash cycles. Probably.

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TWA was merged on in 2001. i wonder if they’d mind if we used their logos?

The Training With Awareness facebook page is coming along. The website is dragging it’s feet. Needs a LOT more work before it’s fit to make public. But we will be getting it into some sort of shape very early in the year because, in academia anyway, managers will be starting to think “Shit! What can I do about staff development this year?” so we will want to be getting a mail out written. I have made the mistake of writing too much in an introductory email before, so this is why we are making a website in advance, so we don’t do too much bombarding with information. The fb page is pretty easy to do. Partly, I am totally ganking stuff from Breathworks’ Page but there’s a ton of stuff about mindfulness out there, so I am rather spoilt for choice.

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And finally… Yayoi Kusama has made an Alice in Wonderland book. I think it looks yummy.

Let or Hindrance, Tiger Worms, Meditations, and Berzerking.

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I really did try to post every day, I promise… but I just went into this incredible migraine and allied trades wormhole and am only just crawling out of it now. You may have seen or got sent a link to about a dozen attempts to post the other day, but for some reason I couldn’t get round the fact that wordpress wouldn’t publish it in full. Very weird, and I tried lots of ways round it. Eventually I was just so exhausted I gave up and just saw it as part of the continuing cascade of things that go wrong. Hopefully this post will behave itself, and I will be able to share my thrilling insights with you without let or hindrance.

I am not entirely sure what let or hindrance really means, but it’s in the UK passport;

Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Which is sort of nice, I suppose. I wonder if I went abroad I might get better assistance and protection than I do here? Perhaps I will go somewhere nice and get asylum.

Anyway, bollocks.

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One thing I have been *doing* off and on for the past few days is creating a multi-storey worm bin as inspired by new-to-me blog The Good Life. I already have bins, albeit that they are see through. All I needed to do was drill holes in them and play house with the tiger worms. In a house with two electric drills you’d expect there to be drill bits at the ready, but there was only one little one to hand so I asked my dad to bring one over. Which he did, but it was so blunt it was like the butter knife of drill bits, so on my way to my Bowen appointment yesterday I stopped in at the hardware shop on Broadway Market and got a nice sharp new one. When I get my wriggle on I will be completing the worms’ new home and I think I will feel quite pleased with myself.

the tiger worms when they first arrived. there are quite a few more now, i think they are having a good time.

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Okay, that was weird, I just had another spooky wordpress moment there… I just posted a load of links about meditation and tried to save and the whole lot got eaten. Maybe by the worms? Who knows, but it’s beginning to freak me out, because I usually have ZERO problems with WP.

Here’s what I want to SHARE WITH YOU FFS!!!

1. Vidyamala’s Three Minute Breathing Space

Also highly recommended – her Body Scan and Kindly Awareness CDs here.

Good free stuff from Audio Dharma For beginners I’d recommend Gil Fronsdal. I particularly like Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Also, not to be too shallow, but he has a lovely voice.

I made a 20 minute Body Scan myself which is free. You can get that here.

My favourite teacher is Ken McLeod at Unfettered Mind. I follow him on facebook. This works pretty well for me. Sometimes I spend a day listening to a whole course.

Now, please WP, let me publish this before you send me completely berzerk.

lead, follow, get out of the way, frame clusters, and swimming! swimming! i went swimming!

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Migraine Awareness Month #16:  “Lead, follow, or get our of the way.”

Which role fits you and why?

having been a teacher in my professional life, my inclination is to lead. between the migraine and the fibro, though, i am limited in the way that i can do that. really, the best thing i think i can do is to live as well within my circumstances as i can and lead by example.

i follow  migraine.com but no fibro things. too whiny and not helpful enough. i follow  ken macleod on facebook. i generally find buddhist reflections most useful in dealing with my reality as it is now, and he is my favourite teacher.

i don’t know many people who don’t need to learn how to get out of their own way, but having a chronic pain condition, the situation becomes critical. if you don’t get a handle on acceptance you will suffer more than is strictly necessary. and again, the buddhists are helpful with this. i went on a breathworks pain management course, which was very good. their book and guided meditations are good as well, but preferably as supplementary material, rather than as stand alone things. much in the same way as self help books in general are better as a supplement to professional help.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.”

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fuck your frame cluster wallpaper

‘frame cluster friday’ is a regular feature on this tumblr blog. i find it really interesting, actually, because with a few pithy (okay, sweary) words and a series of illustrations this blog depicts an entire decor – related problem.

it’s less that you know what a noguchi coffee table is, or that you have the money for one, and far, far more that your desire to be achingly trendy outstrips the meaning of ‘what is a home’.

in a real home objects are laden with meaning. an individual,  family or whatever’s passions, family heirlooms, cultural reminders, even aspirational objects and constructions are all reflected in their surroundings. a toy is your child’s toy, a montblanc pen signifies your aspirations.

funny, funky clusters of things are not even play in this context. these frames without content are literally empty signifiers, empty references. things devoid of meaning and deliberately so. i have my friend terri staying here and this morning she told me that the people in the strand bookshop, whose boast is that they have “eighteen miles of books”, cringe when someone comes in and says that their decorator has told them to come in and buy a yard or two of books with orange spines.

dear reader, i plead with you. be eclectic, have fun, but don’t surround yourself with objects which you neither use nor love. /end public service announcement.

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hey! i nearly forgot to tell you! i went swimming!!!!

so happy. of course, i have a master plan involving becoming super strong and impervious to triggers. i know this is a bit of a fantasy, but it also is a bit not. because some of my triggers are about my back, and when i did weight training, albeit some time ago, i did notice that when i built muscle i was less susceptible to the kind of back pains that end up referring all over the place and end up triggering a migraine for me.

part of my problem was a little bit of agoraphobia, so i was VERY EXCITED when my friend lottie said she would come to my local swimming pool with me, because now that i have been it is a lot easier for me to go back.

i feel good for it too. i love the little achey feelings from exercise. the ‘good pain’ that means you have worked out. acourse, it did trigger a migraine and i had to take a triptan, but i did that afterwards, and i was just soooooo pleased to have done something that has been on my list for months.