“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” –C.S. Lewis
Everyone says I have changed so much in the last month and a half. Mike says I am a ray of sunshine. The funny thing is I know that I have changed inside, deep down inside. I am still crossing the monkey bars and learning how to cross while holding onto a banana and not fall. I am like a child learning all about myself for the first time, the exception being that I am an adult with a vast array of experiences, and some not very positive at all. The fact of the matter is that I am still grumpy, and at times, downright cranky. That’s just part of who I am. The banana I hold onto is the goal that once I cross the monkey bars I can eat my prize, that golden, yellow, delicious banana with its rich fruit wrapped so tenderly in a protective peal. I find that I am tired a lot more than I used to be and I don’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. There are days I just feel down and depressed, there are days that I just don’t give a shit. The fact is is that I am human and I still feel things, just differently because now there is no numbing, mind bending substance to take it away. I have to face my emotions head on and that isn’t easy after such a long and devoted career of inebriating myself from feeling anything. In this new life full of changes and becoming a different person the knives are very real, the pain they inflict deep and I don’t have the Novocaine to stop it like I used to. Yes, I have been given a whole new set of tools to deal with my hurts and ills, but they are still there and more real than ever, and that is hard! In the beginning of sobriety we are more than happy to grasp the banana knowing that one day we will be able to partake of it’s wonderful fruit, but no one tells you you have to swing across these precarious monkey bars of emotions and feelings to the other side before you can really enjoy the fruit, and if you drop the banana you get to start all over again. The thing that no one tells you about is the flood of emotions that may seem like they are going to overtake you. This flood of emotions happens because we no longer have a mind altering substance to blind us to the tidal wave that is rushing our direction.
- Monkey Bars (thedailytravesty.wordpress.com)
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. ~George Bernard Shaw
After the car wreck of your life has finally come to a stop and you have begun to pick up the twisted fragments of metal, the broken shards of glass, healed the cuts and wounds, filed the insurance claim and received a new car it’s time to look at the cause of the car wreck in the first place. Were we not the drivers that caused the wreck? Were we not the ones who lost control? After the exterior mess is cleaned up there is still the internal wreck to clean up, and believe me I need a big broom and dust pan. Even after you think the mess is cleaned up, swept away and thrown in the trash, inevitably you still find shards of glass, pieces of plastic and fragments of metal you have missed. The best thing I have found is walking into a place where you find happy, sober people doing happy, sober things. They have all been in the same car wreck as you, it may not have happened for the same reasons, it may not have been exactly the same wreck and some walk away in better shape than others. The point is that we must honor our self by cleaning up every last piece of the car wreck and surround ourselves with cushions like a bumper car so that that accident doesn’t happen again, for next time we may not walk away unscathed, if at all. Surrounding ourselves with sober, happy people is that cushion of which I speak. If you continue to surround yourselves with people who are constantly getting into car wrecks you are not going to honor yourself and your insurance rates will climb higher and higher with each new collision. Finally, the insurance company is going to get sick of you and the wrecks and drop you entirely. It isn’t enough to simply clean up the mess, we must change and learn to honor ourselves and those around us.
I have decided to give Bongo Dog at Bongo Dog Blog the next Beautiful Karma Award. Bongo is a fantastically happy boy that goes everywhere this his owner will let him and then takes time to share his adventures with everyone. He even shares his adventures when he’s scared, like of thunder for instance, or when he’s in trouble, like eating Scratchy’s food. Bongo is such a playful , happy guy and he’s always there to share a sniff or some love, even with complete strangers. Congratulations Bongo, here’s your reward and your song.
Previous awards were given to:
Previous Beautiful Karma Award recipients:
“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”~Buddha
I have so many things that could upset me today, so many things that I could try and control today, so many things that could upset the balance of my universe. I refuse. I refuse to allow outside disturbances to put me on a path that does not lead to peace. Peace of mind and peace of heart. Pure peace and that alone shall stand. Yesterday my sunflowers needed to be cut down, they had been attacked by earwigs and were sickly looking. Yet, even though they looked sick, upon closer inspection I could see that they still bore the fruits of their labors. They were loaded with sunflower seeds. So, in apology for their early demise, I cut them down and offered the sunflower heads to the birdies and the squirrels. After all they might as well give their fruits back to nature. Much like life, some thing or some one may look sickly on the outside, however; if you look deep enough you can find the seeds of good offering themselves up for sharing and giving back in a spirit of peace and good will.
My Sunflower Heads
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
Ok, so here’s the deal. Now that I have changed my mind’s perspective it is time to go after the body. Since I am no longer drinking my calories and I am eating normally instead of going days without eating, choosing to drink instead, I am starting to put on some weight. So, now that I have the mind in line it’s time to start taking care of the positive effects of what is happening to my body. My family has this terrible problem with obesity and my body image has always been of huge concern to me. My mother is pushing 275#’s and my grandmother weighed just about that when she passed. Excuse my vanity Buddha, but I like looking good and I don’t like little pockets of fat sticking out all over my body. I made a command decision yesterday that I would take a 1-2 hour bike ride every morning. So this is it…day 1 of the beginning of a new path for me…the path of caring for the positive effects happening to my mind as well as my body. Wish me luck!
I live in the town where this idiot has this billboard and I am ashamed to even think we have such ass backwards people living in our community, of course I guess they are every where not just Caldwell, freakin, Idaho!
Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now. Fred Rogers
I have been avoiding writing this blog since the bomb got dropped. My daughter came home from a camping trip with her boyfriend’s family and informed me she was pregnant. I feel disappointed, but then that goes to my expectations that she was getting out of high school early and would have great plans for her future. Instead she moves in with me, meets this boy on Facebook and within a month of being with him she is pregnant. At first she wanted to abort, now the great plan is to carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption. I will support her decision, I may not like any of it, but I will support her. When my ex-husband and I separated we made the decision that Kira should stay with him because I was going to school, working and touring as a musician and my life was not conducive to raising a child. He, on the other hand, had a steady 9-5 job and had a stable home. This was all great, the bad thing about it was the time Kira and I spent apart, and then when he remarried the woman he brought into my daughter’s life did everything in her power to keep Kira and I further apart than ever, and she was a raging alcoholic to boot, worse than me I think.
Joe was over protective and Kira had no practical worldly experience at all. So, once Kira graduated and got her wings the first thing she did, within a few weeks of graduating, was to move in with me, meet a boy and get pregnant. She doesn’t see how much she has changed her life by stepping too quickly up to the plate of life and hitting a wild fly ball. She is staying with her boyfriend, but neither of them have any stability what-so-ever, no jobs, no car, no future and no plan. I am really in a quandary here. My mother and I have discussed it and Kira has a home here, but her boyfriend does not. I have made that perfectly clear. He needs to get his poop together and I am not going to support them both and neither is my mother. His dad got sick of them and booted them out, big loss there, his dad is living at a campground in an RV. The point is, they are running out of places to go and my daughter refuses to let this boy go and take care of her own self. The fact is I don’t really understand it, I don’t understand why she is doing this to herself. But, the fact remains that I love her, but I will not, under any circumstances get sucked into supporting her and her boyfriend, period! Maybe I am wrong, but that is how I feel.
Well, I am slowly but surely getting our videos of our songs produced and published. Here is the latest installment on YouTube of our version of “Matchbox”… Hope you enjoy and please feel free to leave comments……….
Aquarius Horoscope for week of July 26, 2012
My daughter Zoe has been writing some fine poetry these last few years. I regard it as professional-grade stuff that has been born of natural talent and developed through discipline and hard work. You might ask, quite reasonably, whether my evaluation of her literary output is skewed by fatherly pride. I’ve considered that possibility. But recently, my opinion got unbiased corroboration when her school awarded her with the “All-College Honor” for her poetry manuscript. I predict you will soon have a comparable experience. Your views or theories will be confirmed by an independent and objective source.
After rejecting proposals from many directors, Bob Dylan finally authorized Oscar-nominated Todd Haynes to make a film about his life, I’m Not There. Five different actors and one actress portrayed Dylan, including Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, and Christian Bale. “I set out to explode the idea that anybody can be depicted in a single self,” Haynes told The Sunday Times.
Ok Rob, I am sure there is some deeply intrinsic yet cosmic purpose behind this weeks astrology. I didn’t understand the last one until I found a $5 bill on the ground either, but hey, who am I? Maybe this is your way of telling me that I am going to get unasked for kudos on my music, maybe someone will suddenly appreciate my artwork…Who knows, but whatever it is, I Like It!
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. George Carlin
I will be the first to admit that I am a cynic. I have lived my life distrusting of other peoples motives, because aren’t all humans urged by the need for some personal gain of their own. In reality I have always questioned people’s sincerity and motives, whether they stemmed from the true spirit of giving of themselves to another purely for unselfish motives or if their input was driven by self-serving motives. My circle of friends is small, my circle of acquaintances large. I keep the ones who I know have no ulterior motives close and everyone else I keep at arms length as acquaintances or even further away than that. The more I get to know a person determines the distance of their relationship with me directly in proportion to their motives. Being cynical isn’t hard, in fact it is quite easy, in truth it is being optimistic about the human race that is hard. It is my genuine hope that I will one day learn to not be such a cynical, distrusting person, but it is a very hard thing to do when you find that a majority of the people you meet on a daily basis are only becoming acquainted with you because they “think” you have something to offer them rather than in the genuine spirit of friendship. They extend a hand to you as a “friend” with motives untrue and fettered by wants and desires.
The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank
Last nights topic, character defects. I’ll be the first to admit I am a walking character defect. I’m a control freak and I am, to a certain extent, OCD. I have been told that I need to ask a HP to remove my defects of character. No, not a Hewlett Packard! HP is my higher power. Well, being the person that I am, I have to say this. No one, and no thing is going to remove defects of character for you. You are responsible for you and your behavior and the only person that can change that is you. Yes, it is great to have an HP, whether it is your concept of God, a green haired troll doll, or a far away star. However, I do feel that we, only we, can change certain defects in our characters. That is something that comes from within us, not outside of us. Who’s fault is it that I fell down the rabbit hole of drinking, no ones. I am solely responsible for that chaotic miasma of self-indulgence and self-pity. For that I take full responsibility, in this way I have no one to blame if I fall down the rabbit hole again and end up having drunken conversations with a disappearing cat, a rabbit on the run and a stoned caterpillar!
This is the new video I just produced of our version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”…..Hope you enjoy!
I have had a busy week but I found time to get out and take some pics. I am in the process of trying to take all of our songs that have been produced in the studio and produce YouTube videos. Here are some of the pics I took this week that might appear in a video I am working on today. Enjoy! Peace, Jaz
Self Portrait, Saturday July 21
If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Mary Engelbrei
Ok, so my therapist wants me to write a letter to my mom about all the resentments I have toward her. Damn man! Why? I am where I am in my thinking about my mother and I don’t understand why she wants me to dredge up past resentments that I have let go of. That is not the Buddhist way and I don’t like rolling that way. I think that a majority of women have resentments toward their mothers and no matter how good or evil their mothers are or were they are set up to fail no matter what they do. We daughters put a high level of expectation upon our mothers because that is the matriarch we look up to. It’s really not fair to them, if you think about. We take our mothers and place them upon this pedestal that I think not even the best of mothers can reach the pinnacle of and when they don’t reach our level of expectation we get angry and resentful. That’s not fair to them. They are human and fallible just like everyone, but I think we daughters look to our mothers as some sort of superhuman with no kryptonite and that’s our own fault. Sure, my mom was a self-involved creature and I know for a fact she never wanted children, but her moral beliefs would not allow her to “get rid” of us. She was more interested in partying and being free than being strapped to 3 children. Oh well, I can do nothing to change who she was then, I can’t change all the ways she let me down then, what I am capable of changing is the kaleidoscope I view our relationship through. I can chose to see all the colors as dark and bleak, or I can choose to see the color values that stand out the most, the positive colors and I can choose to forgive her and myself for not seeing all the pretty rainbow of colors sooner.
Music is what feelings sound like. ~Author Unknown
Musicians are a special breed. Every city in every state has a community of musicians floating around. We are a group of individuals, guitar players, vocalists, bass players, drummers, etc; that are born with an innate sense of music that fills our souls up so much that we want to share it with the people around us. To us music is every sense we know, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Music is a very empowering thing. If you think about it, music is a universal language that should be shared by all. Some may not be the best players or bands in the world, but they have a deep love for the music that regardless of their skill level should be appreciated. There are those out there who would knock musicians down for not being “good” enough, “original” enough, or a plethora of other reasons. Don’t be so negative, every musician out there has something to give, a gift for you, listen to it and enjoy it, don’t knock it. I speak not of the musicians who are out there on the big stages making the big bucks. The musicians of which I speak are the little guys, the guys and girls next door, the ones standing on that stage in that small or big town pouring out their naked souls to the universe. Whether the song is a cover or an original you can bet that the people standing on the stage put their hearts into it. Show them some love, they really appreciate it!
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
Ok, it has been awhile since I gave one of these out. The next recipient of The Beautiful Karma Award goes out to Todd Lohenry at “What I see, What I feel, What I’d like to See.” Todd always posts these great positive messages that will lift the spirits of even the most die hard depressed person, that person who may be down and out, that person who may be kicking themselves. He has an amazing insight into the human spirit and taps into the energy that is positive. happy and uplifting. Congratulations Todd, here is your gift and your song.
Previous Beautiful Karma Award recipients:
This is our new YouTube video of us doing a cover of “Unchain My Heart” by Joe Cocker….Hope you Enjoy!
The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it. Reinhold Niebuhr
This is my drawing of my place of serenity. On Sunday when I met with my sponge (sponsor) Jules for the first time this is where I went when I was having such a hard day the night before. Saturday was filled with triggers and hurt and I needed a place to go to work through my thoughts and get back in balance with nature and myself. Meeting with Jules was such a blessing, everything just melted away from me. I call her a sponge because I am her spongee and I plan on sucking everything I can out of her, and she is full of all kinds of great wisdom for sobriety. I have so much to be grateful for and in the last month I have begun to see the things and people that were there before me, just waiting for me to open up my eyes and see. They were always there with open arms, all I had to do was be willing to walk into the embrace. It’s amazing how alcohol clouds your vision, blurs your mind and makes you numb. In the beginning isn’t that what all alcoholics seek, blindness and a numbing and dulling of the senses? We don’t want to see, we don’t want to feel. You just don’t realize until you quit, and I mean really quit, how much you have missed.
“Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but cupcakes make it worthwhile.” ~ unknown author
That’s right! I got up this morning and I had my usual, coffee. Buuuuuuut, for breakfast I had cupcakes. Yes, you heard me right, cupcakes. They were my treat for myself for achieving my 30 days sobriety. I didn’t eat them last night because after our jam session/gig I was wiped out. Mind you I am not a big fan of sweets, but I do firmly believe that when we achieve a goal or reach a milestone we need to reward ourselves because chances are there are more steps to go to reach the next milestone. I know for me there are many milestones ahead of me and the journey is exciting. I want it to be filled with rewards because when I was growing up I was lucky if I got a blink of the eye out of my parents. I will reward myself today for having achieved what may have seemed like an insurmountable goal in the beginning!