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Who Am I?

Welcome to this healing blog.  This site focuses on writing; the content related to my professional healing practice has its own space.  Click here to enter that space. 

I practice as a Feldenkrais teacher, TARA Approach practitioner, and counselor who is trained in EMDR. I teach various forms of shamatha meditation as I learned them under the instruction of my teacher, Thrangu Rinpoche. In August of 2014 I began shamanic initiation and training with Buffalo Thunder Tatanka Waikia of San Antonio, Texas.  Essentially, I'm an indigenous American healer, born and raised in Austin, Texas, with many healing threads that weave together into a tapestry as unique as the person I help

I dance with Julie Nathanielsz and Heloise Gold, both recipients of Austin Critics' Table awards for their work.  In addition to dance, I studied percussion for a number of years, and have recently come back to the study of music and drumming under the tutelage of Hossam Ramzy.

I hope that your visit here finds you something to laugh about, something to think about, something to dream about. 

You can subscribe to the blog through the boxes on the right. 

Peace to all, and thanks for visiting.
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Little Notes

A dear friend is in the hospital today. An accident at home. Holding her deeply in my heart. I talked to her daughter at some length. It doesn't look great. Holding her and her family steady and am there in the wings for when the time is right.

I wrote a couple of little notes. I wrote to Master Strategist thanking him for his support around that whole thing about the friend who turned out not to be a friend after all. I said, It feels like the last year has been so much about figuring out who my real friends are. And I'm infinitely grateful that you are one of the people who is on that list. Thank you.

I wrote a small note to Paramedic Guy. Since I haven't heard from you, I assume that I won't be seeing you again, which is alright. I truly wish you the best in your transition to the Pacific Northwest. Peace and love. It feels good to close that door in a peaceful way, especially since the last time I stopped talking to him, I was pretty angry, and that's not where I prefer to leave things with people. It was what it was and he is who he is. I wish him the best.

It's a time of a lot of movement, transition, closure for a lot of people. I'm seeing that. Some people are getting unexpected rewards. Others are getting big unexpected karmic lessons. There has been a lot of death. A lot of change, movement, restlessness, I'm seeing it in my practice too. 

Staying with it. Riding the wave of change.


Power Hour

Started rough tonight. I'm really swollen. Have to change my costume to accommodate what's happening in the old abdomen. Lots of pain; I lay on the stage for about 20 minutes after arriving, wishing I had brought a filled hot water bottle to hold against me.  (I put it in the bag for tomorrow, to remind me to bring it.)

Then as the Tramadol started to ease in, began on the floor: sliding, lengthening, rotating, finding bone, skin, muscle. I always reach back into my Feldenkrais training to find that connection with the floor, how one thing links to another, waking up. Time with that, avoiding anything pressing into the tummy. 

Then up: starting with slow laps around the space. Run like they do in the African desert. Small and light. Hamstrings, feet, calves start waking up and blood flows. Circles, figure eights, backward, in every direction possible. Over and over. Keep changing. Nothing too linear.

Then, run run run explode into something. Again. Again. Again. Changing the dynamic, multidirectional, pushing the heart, surprising myself. Go. Go. Go.

All that's warmup. Rehearsal proper started a bit later. Found the pocket, the power hour, in the third hour tonight. Think the massive Floravital and liquid B12 doses helped. I was measuring according to the bottle instructions at first, but now I'm just taking a full capful of the Floravital and about 10 droppers of B12 a few times a day. Special situations require special measures. Plus making myself eat red meat earlier today, something I didn't want to do at all and could barely get down (I can barely get anything down when everything is this swollen because any additional internal pressure just makes everything more unpleasant)--but I made myself do it, eat two Florentine meatballs from Wheatsville. I felt like dying afterward, but it may have helped the Power Hour show up. 

Found something else that feels good: long, protracted lengthening of the abdominal wall. Going to put up the lyra tomorrow and do basic stuff on it everyday during the show run, as this kind of lengthening is one of the best effects of working on any type of aerial equipment. It just seems to create more space in there, which is what I need and what gives some relief.

Tomorrow, dress. Into the final stretch. I can do this. 

Karmic Angel Speaks

Okay. So based on yesterday's process, I think what the Karmic Angel within me needs is just the chance to say what she really thinks. And she doesn't get to do that too much. So here is the compare and contrast, Socialized Me vs. Karmic Angel Me.

My mother: I love you.
Socialized Me: I love you too.

Karmic Angel: I am so uncomfortable with this conversation. I know you don't really love me that much, or quite possibly not at all in any way that is normal or healthy. And I kind of feel the same way about you. But we have this weird, inextricable bond that comes from being biologically mother and daughter. I'd really prefer it if we could just wish each other well for the week/month/year/millenium instead of all this I love you bullshit.

Old ex: You're one of my favorite people and we'll always be friends.
Socialized Me: I'm so touched you said that. Thank you.

Karmic Angel: Friends? Well, that's an interesting viewpoint, seeing as how I haven't heard from you in months and the last time I spoke to you, you were a total dick. This is your way of apologizing, I guess. I won't hang up if the phone rings and it's you, how about that. 

Annoying colleague: Your practice is so (insert vaguely racist term here--exotic, eclectic, unusual, or whatever kind of 'othering' language you prefer)...
Socialized Me: Thank you (pretending I didn't hear the 'othering' language)

Karmic Angel: I'm not sharing my referral list with you. So don't ask.

Old ex: I just can't talk you through this right now. You totally misunderstood my intentions and you're so (insert language that implies 'crazy woman' type thinking)
Socialized Me: Well, I'm sorry you are upset. I don't know what to tell you.

Karmic Angel: Wait a minute...didn't YOU call ME and throw a tantrum? Yeah. Your delusional universe, where somehow I am the one chasing you, only exists inside of a Magic 8 Ball. Today's answer, my friend, is "Definitely Not."

Karmic Angel Speaks.
I feel better already.

To Take A Chance

I told Hel about the text conversation I've been having with British Motorcycles. He seems like a very intriguing guy, with real artistic interests--film noire, photography, politics, history and the like. Not one of those guys who went to a museum "one time" or listened to innovative music 20 years ago. Real stuff. Cool.

"Invite him to the show," she said immediately.

"Hel!" I said. "I've never even MET this person. And THIS show? This is a harder one to get than even some of the things we do. Is that really the way to meet a person?"

"Do it!" she commanded. "You can't date anyone who doesn't have an open mind."

Okay. True.

So I did. I invited him. What the hell. I'll have a comp ticket. I gave him permission to leave if it's just too weird, and to recuse himself from meeting me at all along with it. I mean, yea. Not every guy wants to necessarily entangle himself with a woman who, at various points in a public format, will: ride a tricycle, transport a drunken gorilla, play a children's instrument, etc. Not to mention that the aforementioned woman is doing all of this on generous doses of opiates and various fancy and expensive vitamins and herbal powders, and really doesn't quite remember where she is or what she's doing a good 50% of the time. 

Man--as an aside, it's just embarrassing to look at the kinds of text messages and emails I've been writing since the Tramadol entered the picture. I do just fine face to face with people thankfully so my job is not impacted--but the stuff I've been writing to people? I don't even know where it's coming from. It's coming from the same place that bought a jar of hot pink Manic Panic, I guess.

Anyway. He might actually go for it. I'm not sure I should have done that or if it's just another errant decision informed by the dreamy madness of opiates. 

Regardless, here's to taking a chance.

Something Interesting; Karmic Angel

I looked in the mirror this morning (which clearly we all do everyday, but most days I'm thinking about other things and barely paying attention) and noticed something interesting: I actually appear to have more lean muscle mass than I did three months ago.

Don't know if it's the changes in diet or what (I pretty much completely stopped eating sugar--it just makes me feel ill; now it's only a very occasional thing) but it actually seems my body is getting stronger in some ways as I head toward the surgery. The rehearsal process hasn't been too strenuous, so it's definitely not that. I've been training some, but not a ton.

It's just interesting. I don't FEEL strong, but the strength is there. I see it and sense it. Maybe it makes its own kind of sense that a healer's process goes its own way despite her state of mind. 

Joanna and I talked yesterday about that whole thing about 'when you don't tell someone the whole truth of how you feel about them.' She said, "I think it's just really, really hard for you not to be completely honest, Elaine. You don't seem to feel that compulsive need most of us feel to gloss things over with social niceties. Most of us have to work at not doing too much of that. You don't have that problem."

"I don't," I agreed. "And I just feel uncomfortable any time I don't really say what it is. I get that there are all kinds of reasons one might not say what it is. But there's just this part of me that has that truth in her, and wants to speak it. If she were a spy, her name would be Karmic Angel. She is very matter of fact, cause and effect oriented, sort of a pure logical Buddhist. And that part of me gets really, really angry sometimes when I choose to hold her words back, and it ferments."

So we talked about that--navigating that dance. She said, "You're just not a game player, Elaine. That's just not you in any way. And so many people are. It's really hard for you. I get it."

Sure. Yep. She does get it. And it is hard. She suggested that there will be a bigger place for Karmic Angel as my shamanic path develops. I think she is right. For the time being, I just have to give that aspect of me a place at my table, see her value, and say to her, "Your time will come."

Because it will. It's coming.

Countdown; Silver Knife

I'm tired today. Yesterday took its toll. But tonight and tomorrow are tech 1 and 2, so no full out dancing. Which is good.

I made my confessional in therapy today. I feel at peace: with my actions, with my inactions, with the choices I made. I just had to talk about it with someone. She doesn't think I will ever hear from him again. I don't think I will either, and, quite frankly, this is for the best. It's alright that I didn't say everything I felt. Sometimes you just don't want to, because it won't do any good, and that's alright. You can hold someone in your heart in a certain kind of way just knowing how they are and not attaching more to it. It's alright.

I'm at peace with it.

Three weeks from tomorrow, I give myself over, let go into the hands of others, slipping under the silver knife that, hopefully, will open the door to my healing. I've been talking to my clients about my being out and today Julie sent out the care calendar thing. That, somehow, made it get real for me, fast. I suddenly realized that yea, I'm doing this. And soon. It jolted me. But I know it's what needs to happen. My body is so tired of carrying all of this pain and suffering. It's tired. It wants to be relieved and to become well. It's time.

So fast, time passes so fast. The countdown.

The Selfish, Episode 27; Love Shower

Thinking about all this selfishness stuff has brought up this memory of this "friend" I had the first time I was in college. She was a very selfish person. It was all about her, all the time. She ended up doing so many selfish things that I finally completely stopped talking to her. For years afterward, she would send me Christmas cards that said things like, "I don't understand why you won't talk to me anymore, what happened?" and "I just don't get it," and this kind of stuff. I never answered any of the cards, and eventually they stopped.

I had another female friend like that for something like 10 years. That relationship ended too. I still sometimes have run into her around town over the years. She always tries to walk up and act like we're copacetic. And I just look at her. She just doesn't get that I don't give two craps about knowing her, or connecting with her, at all. In her world, everyone should want to know her and connect with her. She can't grok that there might be people in this world who feel they are better off without her in their lives. It used to amaze me, but now, I get it.

I wouldn't place someone like Paramedic Guy in quite that category of personal oblivion. In his own way, I think he tried, or tries. However, he acted how he acted, and that's what the history is. I do care for him and imagine I always will have some interest in his welfare, how he's doing, if he wants to share it. But would I call him if I got into trouble, would I reach out to him? I wouldn't. I have no real reason to believe that he would be there for me if there wasn't something in it for him, sad as that is to say. Do I need to say that to a person? No. I didn't say it to those two women in my past, either. I just distanced myself. Ultimately it was the better choice for me.

Ya know, if I look internally at how I feel about a person, any person, and I see that they are not on the list of the 10 or 20 people I would call if the shit hit the fan, there's a reason why, and usually a lot of reasons why. My parents aren't on that list. A lot of people aren't on that list. It doesn't mean they're necessarily bad people; just that I don't see them as people who are close on that level, or people who really have the strength of character, maturity, or level of personal development that I want in the people who ARE on that list.

I mean yea. I suppose in a perfect world what we would hope for is that everyone we would befriend, or date, would be someone who would be on that list. That's just not how it is. And I do think people can grow and change. However, in order to grow and change, you have to have some kind of significant awareness that there's a problem. And selfishness is a huge obstacle to personal development. If you're always putting yourself first and others a far distant second, that's just the habit that becomes your life, and it generally doesn't even occur to such people that the way they're thinking and behaving might be problematic. So there's no real traction for any kind of change. It's a strongly self-reinforcing loop, which is unfortunate. 

I mean, I think about my own parents and how they really haven't changed at all in terms of their self absorption. They'll die that way. I know better than to think that people like this are going to ever play a significant role in my support system. I know better than to think they have some secret fountain of love or black box full of nurture and caring that if I just do the right thing they'll pull it out. They don't have it. It's not going to happen.

And well, I do have that list of 20 people...I'm blessed...so it's alright.

Incidentally, ever since that shift started last week, I'm getting a big Love Shower. People contacting me out of the blue, resurfacing, reaching out. It's kind of amazing. It feels very nice. I will probably write more about that later; it's special.

The Rush, A Bit Of Guilt

Up early. Performance weeks are hard. Lots going on. Have to get on it early in the day. I realized that yet again I messed up my medication schedule and have to double up stuff today, ugh. That's the thing about Tramadol--it does its job but it makes my brain drift off into outer space. I have forgotten more things in the last week than in my entire life before then. I also found a jar of hot pink Manic Panic in my groceries yesterday that apparently I thought it was a good idea to buy while I was at Wheatsville.

I dunno man, you just gotta roll with it I guess.

I'm seeing Joanna today and I'm glad. I need to confess some guilt to someone and she's the one, being my therapist. I realized that one of the reasons I got so weird about the whole Paramedic Guy thing (in addition to being on Tramadol) is that I feel guilty about not saying the whole truth to him. About not saying to him, "Actually, I don't think we are friends at all. You're pretty selfish with me, you were always giving me bullshit and being shady when we were hooking up, and I never thought about you at all after I learned that you were probably in another relationship."

Those things are the truth, but what are you gonna do, say that to someone who is telling you, "I miss you and I think of you as one of my few true friends, someone I'll always be able to talk to." I mean, the latter is true. He can and could always talk to me, it's not like I would hang up the phone if I heard from the guy. Because DUH, I'm a good friend. Way better than he is. But I feel guilty that I didn't say to him, "Well, I'm glad you brought this up. I don't feel the same way about you, but let's talk about it."

I mean yea. I don't hate the guy. But I wasn't honest with him about the *full* range of my feelings toward him. I expressed the regret, and the what-if and all that, but I didn't say the part about how I just don't consider him to be someone who meets the bar in terms of being a true friend. I ask myself why I didn't say it, and I know why: It's because I've known he was selfish from the very first time I met him. I could see it in him. And what I know about selfish people--having been raised by two of them--is that when selfishness is a core character trait, people generally can't change it. They're just unable to look outside themselves and see how other people experience them. And they're too self centered to really grok it.

So what are you gonna do--tell someone about themselves when they can't change it and can't get it? I mean, what's the point? Especially with a dude who's almost 50? But I feel weird that I didn't say the whole truth. I always feel weird when I make that choice. Even if it's the right choice. I do care for the guy, but he's not someone I would talk to about the deep things in my heart, or go to for anything. And I'm not sure if I should have said that to him or not. I'll probably decide I did the right thing, but I'd still like to run it by someone. 

Sometimes there just isn't a good choice when you are dealing with a limited person. I used to tell off my parents, too. Know what? It never changed a thing. I finally figured that out and stopped wasting my energy. But it's still weird.

Off to my day.

To Cut More Dead Wood

Yea. So I had this conversation with Master Strategist. About this person we both know who I thought was a friend of mine. Said person made a pass. Said person has made passes before.

I allowed myself to be talked into kissing said person. No big thing. And it was a terrible experience, one that confirmed a truth I've known for a long time: When you have always been "just friends" with someone, what that means is, you don't have chemistry. Now, there can be people you are friends with who you always did have chemistry with, but you just didn't date for circumstantial reasons. That's different. What I am talking about is friends who have always been friends. This guy was one of those.

So. What I found out from that situation, as lame as it was, was very valuable. I learned that this "friend" has actually been hoping that our friendship will end up with us in bed together for the entire 6 or so years I have known him. He told me straight up, "I wouldn't hang out with you at all if I didn't hope it might lead to that." 

I don't know what effect he thought those words would have.

Here is the effect they did have: I deleted him from Facebook and my phone, and don't ever intend to contact him again. For me, the "phone delete" is the final deal. I have never yet put someone's number back into my phone after the Phone Delete. It is the Big Symbol of You Are Done Here Buddy. I might potentially see you a time or two after that, if I get bored and you get lucky, but what it comes down to is, when it comes to my heart, you're done forever. 

Come to think of it, I don't know what it would take for someone to get back into the phone. What I do know is, no one ever has. Not even when I've done that polite, "Oh, you should give me your number again" thing. (I decided the other day that I'm never going to say that again, because, I don't ever mean it.)

Anyway. Re this "friend." This whole time I've been thinking this person actually valued me as a human being. But no, it's been all about him and his selfishness. Funny how I just wrote a post about selfishness. Just another example of it.

I told Master Strategist what happened. He said, What a total dick. 

I said, I'd like to learn how to use a little C4 to blow him up in effigy, please.

Tannerite and a rifle, he responded. Legal and easy.

I'd have to be a better shot, though. Well, I can work on it. I'm actually looking forward to maybe being able to spend a little time at the shooting range soon, after the show is over. I'm really aching to practice. Both the pistol and the riq. My hope is to work up to a rifle by the end of the year, but that may be ambitious.

I told Master Strategist, I'm actually glad it happened so I could find this out. And for the record, it was like kissing a piece of wet lettuce. I have no idea why so many women are attracted to this guy. He's just kind of repulsive, honestly.

Glad to know I can cut one more piece of useless dead wood from my life.