Stuck again

Children playing in the falling snow
Snow Day

 

I am stuck

I am stuck at home on yet another snow day
I am stuck in my head and in my body as I am struggling with yet another bout of severe depression
I am stuck here and there and it feels it is forever
I am stuck not making any decision
and sharing with others just things that are not likely to unstuck me
because I am stuck in being afraid to be even moved from where I am stuck

Because being stuck feels painful but oh so much safer than being on the go
I am stuck in fear and sadness
I am stuck in this terrible place that feels like walls are closing on me
And that the force needed to stop them from doing so is beyond my abilities
I am stuck and it hurts to realize it so it is easier to close everything inside of myself
Not to talk not to share not to move

I am stuck in time that is passing by without me
I am stuck in the sameness of time and words and actions
I am stuck in a dimension that is separate and disconnected
I am stuck in a place that feels it is not in the same dimension and not in the same world as the others I have to interact with
I am stuck in my head and it feels like it is shrunk
I am stuck in a place of emotions that struggle to break free
I am stuck in a very thin place of madness that is scary and lonely

I am stuck despite the intense will and desire to break free
To bring peace to myself so that I can bring peace to others
To share the joy of being alive and to share the gifts that were given to me
In an unique fashion that I have to recognize and not waste
Because now is the time and now is the place
And not what has happened or what will happen
Just what is happening right now
Here and there
Where I am stuck for the time being

 

Transformations

Roberval Antic ScaleNew Years are opportunities for clean slates. This is why we love it to make goals and resolutions that we generally forget one or two weeks later, if not less, after we have made them.

I am ready for changes but I fear them so much.

I wonder what is so scary in my letting go of bad habits, of clutter, of useless papers or old clothes, and most of all, of letting go of my paralyzing fears.

Four years ago, I started a new business and I was very excited about it. Because of my previous experience with small business, I knew that if by the end of the third year I was not making any profit, said business was to be considered as a hobby, rather than a business. I managed to make profit at the end of the first year, but never enough to hire myself in my own business. The end of the third year has come and getting my books ready for taxes is scaring me, because I am afraid it is showing my failures and my shortcomings, when in reality I should be really proud of myself.

 

But I come from a culture where I was taught how to spot mistakes rather than catch successful endeavors, how to improve and strive for the perfection, rather than to value the effort and the enthusiasm.

It is very hard for me to let go of those cultural messages, to shake my bad habits of judging myself harshly all the time.

 

At the same time, I was getting so enthusiastic about my new venture, I started to log in a lot of data, in the move of self-quantification and some amazing transformations occurred because I did so: I was able to lose 40 and some pounds, I managed my bouts of severe depression and hypomania to an acceptable level of function among the most remarkable feats.

Logging data was not the solution to the underlying problems I have with my food or mood disorders. It was merely a guide for me to not bury my head in sand and then realize when it is too late that I have sunk at the bottom of a pool or smashed into a wall because of speed. And I am forever thankful for the apps that help me keep my life in check that way. Otherwise I really can’t say how I would have navigated those years.

 

But what happened about transforming myself was also too scary, obviously: when I was slimming down, people were taking notice, everyone was but me. I was not feeling different. I was feeling lighter and flattered of course, with the compliments and encouragement I was receiving, but I was most of all feeling annoyed by the attention it was getting me, as if it was signaling some looming doom in the future because of that.

 

And I knew it exactly when it happened. Like a switch one day, the binges were back.

I fought them for twenty-four months. And on the second anniversary of that fatal switch, I kind of gave up, feeling like it was a lost battle.

 

But this is a new year, a new slate, and I know that the mental negative messages that I keep hearing inside my head are just that, mental negative messages. Not any reality. I can replace those messages with positive ones, like if I have done it once, I can do it twice (and thrice, why not! oh do I love the word thrice!!)

 

So for a first start in 2015 I will transform the look of this blog and change its theme, because it is time.

#BlogElul Day 1 – Do

taking stock of the past year

As I was preparing for this series of blogposts, I wrote the prompts first as they were written and then proceeded to translate them into French, as my intention was to publish for my own blog, and benefit from the spiritual exercise, which is – believe it or not – easier for me to do in my native language (I wonder why: not! thinking in a different language brings different thoughts and thinking in English brings me towards action, rather than reflection, whereas thinking in French is much more an exercise in introspection).

 

Once I had written a couple of blogposts, I stalled because sometimes words do not translate well. That is when I decided I could pause and use my blog in English (here) to also play #BlogElul and bring the challenge to the next level, that is to use multiple media / languages / formats, etc to illustrate the broadness of what can be done starting with a simple prompt: just do it!

 

That is when I realized that I had accepted the prompts to be verbs in the infinitive form, to do, and not imperatives: “do!” because I would never try to guide my readers as formally as giving them orders, advices, or compelling inspiration.

 

And now, I realize that I could be stuck in paralysis just because of that. Looking back at a full year – an incredibly difficult one it appears – and getting ready to account for my mistakes and shortcomings when I arrive at the time of the Days of Awe is a scary task for someone who struggles with depressive moods, a strong tendency to ruminate and see the negative in anything she does, while wanting to be a role model and inspire others in positive outlooks on the world and on life.

 

Just do it!

Rather than fearing all that could go wrong and backlash, go with it and see what happens next. After all, when I all started this, blogging and everything, I opted for the “One day at a time” mantra, knowing all too well that this is all I can actually take.

 

“Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?”

 

I have always understood this inspirational quote as a call to just be oneself, and just do it!

If the fear of not doing it right, or doing it as intended, or doing it as well as the others is simply preventing you from being yourself, that is the biggest mistake or biggest sin, because it prevents the world from having your deeds to be inspired by.

I keep having this fear of not doing the right thing. It brings me regrets. There is always a choice, and the inability to make a decision because of this kind of fear is extremely crippling. If I practice the “just do it”, I am hoping to feel more at ease with it. After all, this is only the first step.

 

This blogpost is inspired by the #BlogElul project created by Rabbi Phyllis Sommer of Ima on (and off) the Bima in preparation for the start of the Jewish New Year which is traditionally a time of reflection and soul searching. Whether you are Jewish or not, religious or not, feel free to comment and/or participate in these universal themes and add to the reflection and inspiration. Also feel free to see how I was inspired by the same prompts on Un Jour à la fois, if you can read French.

#BlogElul A time to reflect

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The time is here.

The month of Elul is starting tonight.
Which means Rosh Hashanah is in one month.

As we prepare for the holiday of Passover in the spring, with spring cleaning among other things, we do prepare for the High Holy Days with a thorough soul cleaning!

Time to hear the call of the shofar to wake up what has gone astray.

We live in a noisy world.
We keep ourselves busy, running after fame, wealth, success, power and attention. In the race we seldom care for ourselves. This is the time.

Becoming a White Ally to Black People in the Aftermath of the Michael Brown Murder

Otir:

As a “white ally”, I believe you have to read this excellent piece by Janee Woods on the issues at stake following what is happening in Ferguson, MO

Originally posted on WHAT MATTERS:

Michael Brown

As we all know by now, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenage boy, was gunned down by the police while walking to his grandmother’s house in the middle of the afternoon. For the past few days my Facebook newsfeed has been full of stories about the incidents unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri.

But then I realized something.

For the first couple of days, almost all of the status updates expressing anger and grief about yet another extrajudicial killing of an unarmed black boy, the news articles about the militarized police altercations with community members and the horrifying pictures of his dead body on the city concrete were posted by people of color. Outpourings of rage and demands for justice were voiced by black people, Latinos, Asian Americans, Arab American Muslims. But posts by white people were few at first and those that I saw were posted mostly by my white activist or…

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