Yearly Archives: 2015

The view that clears my head

Conversations in my Head

“Man keeps looking for a truth that fits his reality. Given our reality, the truth doesn’t fit.”
―Werner Erhard

It is amazing to me how I always find confirmation for the conversations I have in my head about myself. Cleaning today, I had just enough distance in my brain to really listen to the “complaint” that was going on. The Watcher was listening. A series of events was analyzed and compared by that pattern-seeking-predicting machine in my head and absolute proof found for all the negative things “it” thinks about me. All of those things are “proof positive” that I am – – fill in the blank. Something about cleaning lets my mind free to go over everything time and time again. Maybe that is the reason I am always in a bad mood when I clean.

And suddenly it hit me what I was saying to myself and what that was doing to my mood and maybe my body. Negative thoughts have great power over you physically (there is this a kinesthetic test that shows it really accurately that I do with my students all the time) and I have been feeling unwell lately. How much is it because of the running complaint in my head? And I know from the classes I have done with Landmark Education that what you think, how you interpret a situation is not necessarily the “truth”. You can change your viewpoint and your interpretation is totally different.

With the sun shining through the golden fall leaves, I decided to change my point of view. Instead of cleaning I am going walking with the dog.

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Blossoms changing to Berries

Resistance to Change

Resistance to change
appears to be a fundamental
feature of human consciousness,
not just a response to anxiety.
The path to growth lies
in following your anxiety,
in venturing into the unknown.
– Brett Steenbarger

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Old GiftsChristmas gift that my mother knit for her cousin

Old Gifts

A trusted friend is the best relative. – Buddha

My cousin was just here with a friend of hers and I showed her around Germany. Actually, she was my mother’s cousin but we always called her cousin. She was an only child and her mother and father died pretty early so she was always included in the family holidays, especially at my uncle’s, my mother’s brother, because they were nearer the same age. At any rate, she was always part of “the family” for us.
During the course of her visit, she gave me a “gift”, she called it. It turned out to be a hat, mittens and scarf set that my mother had knit for her and given her for Christmas. It must have been ages ago. It was still in the box my mother wrapped it in and the store the box was from hasn’t existed in years. And it all smells of mold and moth balls. It is clear to me that she never opened the box again after unwrapping it that Christmas. She just put it away in the attic or the basement or wherever.

I know she meant to do something nice for me but this has all made me very sad. My mother really liked her cousin and I believe she felt a close connection with her. But from the conversations that we had on the trip and from this “gift”, it is clear to me that the feelings weren’t reciprocated. It comes up for me now that my mother’s cousin actually didn’t “like” my mother, which actually explains a few things. When my mother got interested in cruises and travelling, she asked her cousin many times to join her on a trip and was refused or just kind of ignored (it is a family trait). And when my mother died, there wasn’t much sympathy that came from that direction. At the time I hardly noticed because of my own grief. It comes up for me now that it was so.

The thing is, my mother was choleric, she was erratic, she could be vicious and mean. She learned all those things at her mother’s knee (who was also all those things) and I certainly learned them from her. But she was also fun, loved to have a good time and laughed with a deep belly laugh that made everyone laugh with her. And she didn’t spend her time making knitting projects for just anyone. My mother was a really fine knitter but she never made me hat, gloves and scarf. She was reaching out in the only way she knew how. And it fell on deaf ears.

I don’t mean to make my cousin wrong for not liking my mother, her cousin. You can’t choose your relatives like you can your friends. But I feel a communion with my mother that I have never felt before. I know so well the biting sorrow of loving someone who doesn’t love back. Of trying to “court” someone to like you even if it is hopeless. I so wish my mother were alive right now, so I could share that with her. Another way we are/were so alike.

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Wolfgang and I when we first met

An Ode to My Husband

Könne-mer mal mache! – Wolfgang Michel (Let’s do it!)

In honor of his birthday, I thought I would list off some of the wonderful things that I cherish in my husband, Wolfgang.

• I love his sense of humor, the silly jokes and how he can laugh at himself. I think we laugh about half of the day. Even if it is mostly silly, it makes the day easier.

• His energy is inspring. He sings every morning while he is making breakfast. He keeps going when I am ready to fall down and sleep. He can wear out anybody I know.

• His ability to dive right in and do things has always amazed me. Just the other day, he tore apart our quad and fixed the transmission. I don’t suppose that is such a great thing till you know he knows virtually nothing about fixing a motor. He just does it. And not only that, he does it and fixes it!

• Wolfgang has done nearly all of the renovations on our house himself. After he laid the antique tiles in our hall, the professional from whom we bought the tiles said he wanted to come by and see how it went and he was impressed with what Wolfgang did. The tiles are not evenly made and you have to adjust the amount of cement that you use for each one. Everyone who visits us comments on the beauty of that floor!

• It seems to me he can play any instrument. He has a diploma in classical guitar and was good enough at it to get lessons with Segovia. He decided to learn cello and when he played on a “student” concert after only six months of lessons, noone believed that he was a beginner. He accompanies my students on their concerts and makes it possible for them to look good because he covers up their mistakes and helps them keep going. And he is my accompanist and puts up with all off my stuff so that we can make music together.

• What is very special to me is how he is willing to grow and learn personally. Some of our best conversations are about how we see ourselves and what we can learn from it.

I am very blessed to share my life with him. Best wishes on your birthday my love. I wish you many more!

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