The Hide Inside

“You can keep as quiet as you like, but one of these days somebody is going to find you.”
Haruki Murakami

I have wondered how it is to try to understand me when I sometimes do not understand myself. I have put up a barrier between me and the rest of the world. I can and do retreat into the small quiet place inside where no one can get to. I would hide there as a child whenever the world became too big, too bright, too loud. I would retreat there whenever my heart would break at the smallest of upsets, when I could not understand that there were things I just couldn’t understand. Whenever I realized no one understood me, I would go there. When I would do or say the wrong thing, this became my protection, my wall, my shell, my sanctuary. I have never let anyone in.

To be honest, there are times when I like it in there.

In my adult life, during the 17 years that I lived with an emotional abuser. I would go to that place inside myself. In my imagination I created a nice place in the sun on a sandy beach that I had frequented in real life as a teen. I would sit back and watch the river flow, listen to the birds and bury my toes in the warm sand.

This sustained me during the times I could not defend myself because I was not strong enough to even realize I was worthy of defense.

I seldom go there now; that protected place as my life has changed, I left the abuser and definitely I have grown stronger but that barrier remains, the bubble that protects, the facade that makes me seem just like everyone else.

It is only through words on this screen that I type to you through my keyboard that I am able to say this much. My brain is somehow connected better this way than verbally. The words flow right from the source, actually speaking words is not my best thing, but I try.

It has taken me forty odd years to find someone I feel a deep enough connection to not only want to share myself and my inner world with.It is a thirst long overdue sating.

I try to imagine the way I must come across to him. I don’t think he realizes how different I am with him than with other people. I know he knows that I can shut down, he has seen the blank look come across my face, he has watched me instantly withdraw, he has felt my body become limp. He has seen my at my worst, he has seen what I have been able to hide from others, he has seen the exhausted me that can’t speak, he has seen the burned out me that jumps at the slightest sound. He has never judged me or made me feel bad about who I am. He has held me tight and loved the pain away. He has loved me and has tried to understand more than anyone including my own Mother. I still can’t let him in fully and I still can’t tell him in words what I am writing here about I feel. This is a curse and a blessing to me.

It is said that Asperger’s is developmental and I do continue to develop everyday. I have worked on myself my entire life. Writing this blog has certainly helped me in an abundance of ways. I hope to inspire others in this way; you matter–you are loved –you are not alone–although you are special and unique there are others who feel like you–and you can change your life.

♥SBI

Free the Marijuana

There has been some backlash to a recent complaint made by the newest member of our apartment dwellers association. The complaint was regarding the sweet but pungent smell of marijuana that has at times lingered around our community and the wide availability of said and I may note legal marijuana products in our city of Potland, I mean Portland.
This has made “the mean looking guy upstairs” enemy number one in certain circles and a protest protesting the persecution and harassment of natural medicine enthusiasts, patients and supporters will be held today in the amphitheater.

I will be selling my homemade brownies to the participants to make some extra cash, stop by and pick some up while they last.

Update****

It began peacefully enough but when the protesters starting shouting “Free the Weed!”, “Free the Weed!” the amphitheater became swamped with crazed people looking for the free weed. FREE WEED!!

At first I was afraid. I was petrified as the crowd swelled to massive size! Quick thinking saved the day. I told them the marijuana was in the brownies and they cleaned me out of all 5 dozen in an instant, most of them tipped and handsomely too as stoned people are known to do. I walked away from the maddening but happy crowd with a few bucks to buy me some new kicks.

😀

**Seriously, marijuana can be medicine and its consumption, medical and recreational is legal where I live and becoming legal in more and more places. Below are links to some interesting sites regarding the subject. **

Medical Marijuana By Harvard Medical School blog

Medical Cannabis by MedicineNet.com

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis (2020 Update)

and now a quote from...

DR. SANJAY GUPTA:

“I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have ‘no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.’

They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works…

We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”

Aug. 8, 2013, “Why I Changed My Mind on Weed,” CNN.com

Serendipities in the Rough

 

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.
—Arthur Golden

 

Life random, it is constant and ever moving.  It leaves no chance to go back and try again. Our journey in this what we call existence is wrought with surprise. We can never know what is just around the bend. Our experiences are accidental. We can cross our fingers and hope for the best. We can rely on a steady hand to guide the way, we can watch out for rocks but common pitfalls will befall us and so will other things too…

Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

 

Those words stared at me, written in my own hand. Stuck up on my computer at work. I stared at those words on that day a few weeks ago before I crumpled up the paper and dropped it silently into the trash. Our entire department was being downsized or outsized…whatever. I was out of a job. 

We were being paid for the day. It was ten o’c lock Monday morning and I was “free to go.”

A first for me; A layoff and fresh into my new independence in my new apartment. A fear rose up in me. A dread. A panic. I went home and cried.

I would like to say at this point I straightened up and used this setback as an opportunity to take on a newer and better adventure. I’d like to say I conquered hardship and myself but really I fell into another job without really trying. And now two weeks in I am finding the hidden “dangers” in taking the safe route. And I wonder if I have taken full advantage of my situation…

 

 

It is how we look at it all which makes the most impact on our lives. There can be hidden gems in rough serendipities. And something that may for the quick moment seem to be a setback could in reality be a spring forward.

 

 

Nature makes way for the new. An emptiness must be created in order to fill it. A tree sheds it’s leaves in the Autumn. They fall to the ground; becoming one with the earth, helping provide nourishment to the tree to grow its new leaves in the spring. Nature is constantly giving birth to itself. And we as part of nature are constantly being reborn. Every day we are alive this happens. With every experience we become a newer version of ourselves.

 

Every flower must grow through dirt. —Proverb

Life is like that. All our experiences; good and bad make us who and what we are. We can glean wisdom from this. Scars heal and can make us stronger. We can look back at our very survival as proof of that.

 

Kintsugi, The Japanese Art of Fixing Broken Pottery With Gold.

 

There are many who are “broken” in this world of ours. We are legion. Seldom, if ever, can anyone escape unscathed. Some say that a dose of hard times in one’s life makes one more sympathetic to the plight of others and more grateful too.  I think this is true to a great extent.

Tragedy is tragic and unfair as it is, we must salvage what we can from it. If only in order to save ourselves and others.

There are many forms of tragedy that exist. Much of it out of our control. I don’t have to tell anyone how troubled this world is. It’s easy for me to say that good can possibily ever come from bad.  I have lived a relatively fortunate life. I have not truly suffered like many have. But I do know something of hope and often it is born out of a human heart and spirit and nothing else.

There are going to be low days.  It’s inevitable. but it is those low days that prepare us for the high ones, these are inevitable too. I think this when I’m having a bad day; that I’m somehow paying my dues or paying it forward for later. I feel that in the law of averages my “bad luck” will turn to “good luck” Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But this has a magic all its own.

 

Nothing is perfect. My new job isn’t either but it does afford me more time to spend with a very important person to me who makes me feel wonderful and in that maybe it is all for the best…perhaps I will seek some rough and very soft serendipities there for a time…

~nlm

 

Related Articles

 

 

 

Whatever does not kill us: cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience.

Garden of the Mind

 

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece

~Claude Monet

 

We all engage in self talk. A running inner dialog that writes the script of our lives.

Seldom are we completely aware of just how influential we are on ourselves. We definitely live up to our own expectations. Positive or negative.  Problems arise when insecure feelings begin to dominate the conversation. And rarely do we share these dark thoughts with others. They are hidden behind a wall of bravado we put up between each other. This causes us to see only the exaggerations put together by our imaginations not the full scope of reality.

Insecurities are kept in a secret place locked inside ourselves in that dark closet of pessimism, where fear lives. It is fear that leads us to lie to ourselves in the first place. Much of the negative crap that our own insecurities whisper to us is not accurate or realistic at all, but these hidden feelings do have a profound effect on our behavior. Only when we can forgive ourselves for not being perfect can we begin to rebuild and replace all that negative crap with good crap.

I liken a life to a garden. What grows in our garden is what has been planted.

 

 

The lives which we are living now are the result of our past actions and those past actions were the result of our past thoughts. The seeds we planted long ago are sprouting now.

We truly are what we have cultivated. We can thrive in a colorful vigorous and sunny garden or we can wallow in the dark. and it is that simple… of course surprises can spring up

Life is random and certainly not fair. We are subject to the whims of that randomness…

…and no matter what we do surprises can spring up…

Sometimes squirrels can dig up your tulip bulbs and plant them in your neighbors backyard…sometimes a spring hail shower can wreck havoc on your tender pansies. There have been times when a black cloud descended into my garden and left it cold and dark. There have been times when I thought that the sun would never shine again…

And then I found the sunshine within myself and lit up my garden with hope, faith and blind determination.

 

 

These are the times when we have to rely on that sort of sunshine to make our gardens grow.

…that’s why you need a good dose of it stored up in your pocket for a rainy day.

 

 

Determination: Yes. Work: Most certainly. Anything worth anything takes work and belief. That is your sunshine and nothing will shine without it.

Gratitude is like water. It nourishes life in our garden. It makes what grows grow. Without gratitude we will never find the happiness and contentment we seek.

Attitude. How we frame the picture we see.

What some may interpret as a raging storm can seem like a gentle shower watering a summer flower.

 

Seeds are the ideas we present to ourselves. We can plant what we want.

 

Being afraid; having social anxiety…the alien-ness I felt being on the autism spectrum…my alcoholism.. these were symptoms of a greater problem these were/are my challenges. I on instinct planted seeds to counteract the ones planted many years before which led me to feel so sad.

How do I do this? I change my inner dialogue. I forgave myself. I saw myself as a poor damaged thing that needed sympathy, love and understanding.  I began to treat myself more kindly; I began to lie to myself but in a good, encouraging way.

I told myself wonderful things about me; things I didn’t believe. But I kept planting and counting.

I counted reasons to be grateful. I thanked God or the spirits that be. I thanked the universe for my good fortune. I embraced mindfulness and tried to enjoy every passing moment for what what it is without expectation. I found worthiness in contentment and strength in humbleness.

 

I wrote words like”optimistic” ,”happy”and “Yes” in bright colors and tapped them around the house.

I found solace in the colors of music and the sound of the rain.

I refused to be daunted by a reluctant sun so I made my own.

 

What began as a tiny spark has grown larger and my garden is growing with colorful, green, growing wild things.

I continue to plant seeds whenever I can. My garden is a work in progress. Always planting something, digging, weeding, taking it all in.

Despite changes and setbacks I am here to encourage other gardeners who may be discouraged. Maybe to make myself feel a bit better too.

 

As Ram Dass once said: We’re all just walking each other home.”

And I say that it’s damn good to have a friend to walk through the rain with. 

 

~nlm

 

 

 

Related Articles

Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy

Mister Rogers Remixed | Garden of Your Mind

Words Can Change Your Brain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beauty in Chaos

We are born of Chaos. A  singularity known as the Big Bang  sent forth into being an ever expanding commencement of all things.

Clouds of dense gas and swirling universes come together and are pulled apart….Stars  are  born, they shine and explode and then die. Black holes devour all they touch. Galaxies collide spraying stars into eternity. Particles are continuously being created and destroyed; blinking in and out of existence akin to a ginormous Schlesinger’s Cat.

We are born of  hydrogen and oxygen, of nothingness and of everything. We are truly stardust come down to Earth.

 Our home this planet has had a violent past and without all that disarray and upheaval we would not be here today.

We come from chaos and someday we’ll return there too. This is how infinity perpetrates itself.

We are a part of that.

As we are a part of everything.

OUR LOVELY HOME
“It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.” ― Hiromu Arakawa

Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. He knew that a stirring of the waters can sometimes conger up the fish. We know from history that many a good thing can result from many a bad thing indeed and if necessity is the mother of invention then perhaps chaos can be the father of the creative thought that sparks that necessity.

Fate forces our hand and we must act, even inaction is a form of action or reaction. We can go with the flow or fight it. Life is a raging river, never standing still, always moving, never the same…change is the only constant.

The death of one can come about the birth of another

Extinction of the dinosaurs. Computer artwork of a group of dinosaurs and flying reptiles fleeing a vast fire. This may have been caused by a volcanic eruption or meteorite impact. Such events have occurred before in Earth's history, and will do so again. Both events can trigger a lowering of global temperatures as clouds of dust and ash reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the surface. Plant and then animal life dies off. The mass loss of life that included the extinction of the dinosaurs took place some 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. The flying reptiles here are Pteranodons, and the quadraped dinosaur are sauropods called Titanosaurs.
We are the inheritors of a wonderful world, a beautiful world, full of life and mystery, goodness and pain. But likewise are we the children of an indifferent universe. We break our own hearts imposing our moral order on what is, by nature, a wide web of chaos.” ― Colin Meloy

Chaos is raw violence. It rips apart what was to make room for what will be. In it’s upheaval change does not waiver. It is indifferent to fate. It just is. Change devours the status quo. In its varying degrees it can make quite an impact. Life ebbs and flows.  Stability returns with the growth that follows upheaval. Life is but a dance between the two extremes seeking to find an undulating balance between them.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/35-years-after-mt-st-helens-eruption-nature-returns/
35 years after Mount St. Helens eruption, nature returns

Music interrupts silence and color disturbs the black and white. The peanut butter in my ice cream has only increased it’s tastiness to me

Imagine a world that never changes, a river that never flows, a planet that has lost its spin. Imagine a world without the audacity of   daybreak. Imagine a blank piece of paper where words will never be. Imagine the leaves never falling off the trees, or crying babies never being born, imagine the butterfly never emerging from her chrysalis and becoming the butterfly she is meant to be…

two-tailed-pasha-butterfly-emerging-from-its-pupa

This is why we need chaos you see…

Despite the pain of  upheaval. Wonderful things can be found among the ruins. Sometimes it can be oneself.

nancy-smile-in-green-happy-4

I am myself at a time in my life where I have found the courage to make some drastic life changes. I write this as I sit in my new apartment, my name on the lease. It is mostly devoid of things for now but it holds the most precious thing of all: Love. The love that this place abounds in. I am truly blessed to have people around me that love me and encourage me to be the best me I can be. An unexpected butterfly landed on my shoulder one day last February and I haven’t been the same since. I found the strength to leave a situation that was not healthy for me or my children.  I have taken upon myself to change this situation that I had lived with for many years. I will continue to keep you posted. Suffice to say I am happy and excited!!

~NLM

 

 


 

 

 

spiral space galaxies 2 pair

Look deeper through the telescope
and do not be afraid when the stars
collide towards the darkness,
because sometimes the most beautiful
things begin in chaos.”
Robert M. Drake

Related Articles

Debussy, Clair de lune 

 

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35 years after Mount St. Helens eruption, nature returns

 

 

 

The Serendipity Effect

 serendipity


 


rainbow art

Some say it finds you! 

Fortunate happenstance perhaps…good things coming by chance..happy accidents…

What is serendipity and where can I get some of that potent elixir?

 Serendipity is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

 

Life is a fast paced, whirlwind of a trip with plot twists and turns, unexpected snippets of senselessness tempered with semi-predictable outcomes. I say semi-predictable because I am of the philosophy that we make our own destiny and that destiny certainly make us. We can prepare for and harness both what we can and cannot control to our best advantage.

 

It was Norman Vincent Peale who inspired us all in his wildly popular “The Power of Positive Thinking”

I have read this classic at least a decade ago. And it inspired me. Many truths are contained within the pages of books. Peale explains in this book that our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate.” I have taken this advice to heart…or mind, so to speak.  What we see and what we believe creates our reality.  Appreciation is key and what we think about what we already have taints whatever we encounter.  I never was always so positive as I am now. I’ve spent a great part of my life as a sarcastic cynic who believed that if I never believed in anything or anyone that I would never be let down.  I was ever wary, I had “seen it all”  I expected the negative and had no problem finding it.

I realized that if I wanted to change my life I would have to change myself and my outlook.  And I  decided to believe in all this, what I thought at the time was crazy mumbo jumbo because I really had nothing to lose.

 

We can recite platitudes, embracing their meaning but not truly believing in them. A lot of this stuff makes for excellent sound bites. We can sound cool and enlightened to our friends.  I known people like this who seemed to have something to prove by reciting every guru and free thinking wise person from Buddha to John Lennon.  Words can inspire but it’s what we do with that inspiration..

Serendipity is such a word.  It is inspiring, yes….

cat lady sunflowers friends pet
“Serendipity: Such a beautiful word describing the occurrence of events by chance. I like to think it’s the energy you put out into the world and the world returning your energy with love.” ― Steven Aitchison

 

I realize what I am saying may be construed as sounding too Pollyannaish  or too easy.  Real life is not like that. I know firsthand how damn ironically unfair it can be. I have found myself many times awestruck at life’s ironic unfairness. I could venture to say that a sense of humor helps but sometimes in life nothing seems to work and all the good thoughts and positive actions in the world cannot change that…

Ever have one of those days that start out horrid and end up atrocious?  No matter how well  intentioned and positive you are, you can’t win them all, no one can. That seems like a worthless platitude that doesn’t make anyone feel better. Truly it is only ourselves that can allow us to feel better.

 

Through our actions and reactions to events and nonevents we scatter seeds. Some get rooted deep in the ground long forgotten and some of those can seemingly out of nowhere erupt out of the ground and grow into something wonderful. It comes as such a surprise one can almost trip over it’s fantasticalness.
Serendipity isn’t what we find. It is not simply some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We can engineer serendipity by making something out of what we find, knowing this and then expecting to find it in the first place.

I could venture to say that positive thinking borders on the magical but it is not magic.

 

 

sun flower field sun happy nature

I think we can and do encourage serendipity by the choices we make, by our attitudes and by the way we treat others.  Put good out there in the world and with patience it will come back on you. Never stop believing, never stop putting your best possible foot forward.

I have seen people with good intentions try positive thinking and abandon it far too early expecting instant results. It doesn’t work that way.

Life runs in cycles, it ebbs and flows, no matter positive you are bad shit is going to happen to you. Conversely, so is the good shit, the trick is to learn from the bad and don’t take the good for granted…or too seriously. Goods things often take more than the power of positive thinking, no matter how powerful. Hard work,  perseverance and time with a pinch of luck makes the cake and when that’s topped with creamy optimism, the combination tastes like sweet success.

 

~NLM

people happy enthusiatic color confetti women

 

 

 

Serendipitous Quotes

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“Cultivate the art of maximizing serendipitous opportunities.”
Gina Greenlee

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“Success is three parts hard work and one part serendipity; this serendipity is a direct result of the other three parts of hard work.”
Ken Poirot

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“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”
― Norman Vincent PealeThe Power of Positive Thinking

*

Related articles

SERENDIPITY was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, inspired by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”
SERENDIPITY was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, inspired by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

 

Engineering Serendipity  (Nytimes.com)

10 Awesome Accidental Discoveries (popularmechanics.com)

George Harrison – What is Life 

 

Aliens inside us

 

There are aliens inside us…hidden deep inside us…restless ones who move about changing shape and creating quite a stir…subtly effecting us in ways we cannot imagine…slowly taking over our minds…driving us insane…

 

This is the dramatic version I like to entertain myself with. The one that suggests a nerdy sci-fi thriller mixed with a slick medical docudrama. This may not be too far off. ..

So just what am I jabbering on about you ask?

 

Mitochondria!

(Play dramatic music here)

that’s right. Mitochondria.

 

 

mitochondrion 1
Mitochondria

As we all know from Science class , mitochondria are adorable microscopic rod-shaped organelles. They live inside our cells, they give us our get up and go, our va va va voom and our very breath.

 

Really far out and groovy scientists hypothesize that millions of years ago a microscopic  free-living single-celled organism met up with another larger microscopic free-living single-celled organism and the two dug each other so much they reached some sort of agreement to develop a symbiotic relationship. And so they did;  shacking up together like bohemian live-in lovers, one not being able to live without the other, each complimenting each other perfectly. Eventually, the larger organism developed into a cell, the eukaryotic cell to be exact and the smaller organism developed into the mitochondrion we know today.   But how much do we know about mitochondria anyway?

 

Cultures cell stained for mitochondria (red), microtubules (blue), and the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (green)
Cultures cell stained for mitochondria (red), microtubules (blue), and the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 (green)

Although they live inside us, mitochondrion do not share our DNA, they have their own.  They are quite the powerhouses of energy. They can change shape rapidly and are quite restless moving about ours cells almost constantly.

Mitochondria may not be literally the air that we breathe but it is they who convert the oxygen we breathe into energy in a process called aerobic respiration. Without mitochondria higher animals such as you and I and even my cat Mario are not likely to exist…

Ever since I heard of mitochondria and this arrangement made millions of years ago I have been fascinated.

 

 

I myself have entered into what most would consider a symbiotic relationships with another human and I don’t have to tell anyone that sometimes these relationships just don’t turn out. Sometimes they end badly and by the time you realize this,  it’s already too late and you have been driven insane.  It happens all the time. But imagine if you had literally absorbed this partner into your body and now it’s DNA is in your nucleus!  How can you undo this?  Argument, logic or idle threats cannot separate you. You are stuck with this mistake forever and there’s no amount of clever legalese or high priced lawyers that can save you.  OMG! Yikes!!

 

Mammalian mitochondria
Mammalian mitochondria

Really?  Can your Mitochondria make you crazy and if I ever do go crazy can I use this as an excuse?

I have been catching up on my technical journals and ran into articles citing evidence that there is a correlation between mutated mitochondrion and mental illness. This is no surprise.

This aspect is what intrigues me about the whole subject.  I mean could these little buggers be influencing us on a more subtle level, and if I screw up or do something stupid can I blame them?

Would anyone buy this?

This is what I ponder as I look out the window into the great wide world outside. I watch two crows fly high in the sky which leads to more pondering.  Yes, there are times when symbiosis goes horribly wrong but what happens when it goes wonderfully right?  Apart from some craziness, are we not the product of a successful symbiosis?  I try to imagine a time before the merging of the two single-celled organisms that created life as we know it here on earth.  In our narrow human point of view not a lot had happened before this chance meeting.  It was a spark that set off a whole heaping helping of a lot, dammit…

…has all of this been good ? That I will ponder another day…

I feel restless…

..the sun is out and I think I will go for walk

 

~NLM

art fractal gif 6

 

 

References and Related Articles

Entangled Particles and the Certainty of Love
The Air that I Breathe - The Hollies 


High Intensity Exercise Makes Muscle Mitochondria Happy

Psychiatric symptoms of patients with primary mitochondrial DNA disorders


Mitochondria (What is Mitochondria?)