Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love The One You're With

What does it require to love the one you're with? Not speaking about who you're in a relationship with, not who you're married to, not who you're seeing or hanging out with, not who you've been loving from afar or have something weird or complicated with. I'm not talking about romance. Never been a big romancer. 

I mean the person you're physically with, who might be at the table next to you, at the next desk, who is on the other end of this phone call, who you're looking at, working with, driving next to, past. Your teacher, your student. Your friend, your lover.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of thinking that everyone I come into contact with is having the worst day ever. Not only that, I used to trick myself into believing that they had the hardest childhood ever, and someone was threatening to sue or kill them. I know that last part was a little dramatic. Only a little. 

But it helped me to remember that everyone is scared. And probably a little sad. Or a lot sad, which is not hard to see and know.

I heard once that everything that people do is either motivates by fear or love. That everything is in constant battle between love and fear. You're either walking toward love or fear. And only love can overpower fear. And fear can actually be seen as a lack of love. And fear comes in all shapes and sizes including anxiety, stress, hatred, depression, anger, control, etcetera (basically every negative experience or emotion). 

So if you pretend everyone is a scared child, even if they're being an ass to you (out of fear), the only way to help the situation is to love. 

How? It's just an outpouring of your energy: a smile, a well-wishing, a silent blessing, a compliment, a loving thought, an observation of any goodness you can see or sense. Or perhaps just attention, just being present with the person, listening.

It's not easy. 

Nobody needs to hear this more than me right now. All pregnant and fussy, hot and bothered but not in the good way. For real hot and bothered, as in physically uncomfortable and irritable. 

I have to keep remembering what I know. What I feel is right...totally, completely, finally. 

And so much to freaking love. 

Let's all try it. One person in our line of fire at a time. To love, to uplift. 

God help us.

Liza Jane

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Turn the Page

Now I've always been a reader. This trait can be attributed to my mom. The yoga and wellness thing comes from my dad for sure. The travel thing comes from both of them. But literature? I can thank my mom, the editor, the english major 
(which I should have been damn it, didn't have the guts). 

 [Side psychological moment:
It makes me think, do we choose our professions based on what we grew up around? 
Or are our career decisions sometimes a way of getting that acceptance and admiration from our parents? A LOT of people do what their parents did. Just saying.]

I have to say, for me, the holistic wellness/yoga thing is something I enjoy so much, it makes me think it's the environmental/upbringing cause. Maybe even nature and nurture. 

The reading and writing thing? Definitely a love and passion. 
If I could, I'd sit on my ass and let someone feed me grapes (or right now, dark chocolate covered coffee beans) while I read without stopping (except to do some yoga) without bathing or sleeping. 
The only break I would take would be to write out of sheer inspiration when it hit me.

But alas, life is there. There is so much to do. I can't roll around on my mother's antique chaise lounge reading while someone brings fresh vegetable juice and probiotic drinks on a gold tray.

So the book pile builds. My own slush pile. I always read several books at one time. But now, it's just ridiculous. The leaning tower of Pisa on the bedside table has become daunting. There's stuff on the bottom I've been reading since this time last year. I do not relent, I will move forward. The pile will shrink.

Happy to say, I've taken one hefty baby off the pile.

Hate to make a hunting analogy, but this 770-page novel is my mount. My deer antlers or whatever. What I mean is, this has been an extremely busy time, what with all the biological nesting drive and stuff all around me. To credit Donna Tartt, in my opinion, it was a pretty easy kill. She writes like Fabritius painted (alluding directly to the masterpiece in the title). A true work of art.

While Will anxiously searched for a fabled buck that he saw around our house with a supposed beautiful something-point, I furiously fired through this thing, 
taking note of this woman's talent I truly admire. (Different strokes for different folks. Different hobbies for different bobbies. You get my gist. I don't know what a bobbie is. I made that up).

Nancy chose this for our book club. We had a great discussion. Not everyone loved it, which made for the great conversation. So glad we got this group together. Reading is so important, kids.

Then there are the baby books. Good-ness.

Ina May Gaskin gets to the point and tells it like it is.
I'm reading her breast feeding book now. 

Been through about 4 childbirth books since I found out I was pregnant. 
Geesh, you add that to the nutrition and yoga books constantly thrown about my house, the fun non-fictions and short story collections, plus the novels waiting in line under this month's book club book, and you need about 3-4 months of being on a deserted island to complete half of it.

Still the slushie pile grows. Working in a bookstore doesn't help. Yesterday at TurnRow, I started sweating when Jamie asked me if I have anything I've read to recommend for the spring. I almost had an anxiety attack. I got defensive as usual and said, 
"Maybe after I've read all the books I am reading that are already out there!" I'm surprised I didn't add, "I'm not a freaking machine!"

Dang. I'm that under-achieving employee. While everyone else reads at the speed of sound, 
I'm floundering around in last year's prize winners. I almost feel illiterate around those people. 
I feel like a 13-year-old when they are discussing authors, and I'm like, 
"Oh yes, I agree. Who is that again?"

But, hey, doing the best I can. And that's what I am doing.
Struggling to keep up? Whatever. Go at your pace.

Liza Jane

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Let's Talk About Sex

Preg post! Get excited.

"Are you carrying low or high?" "Hold your hands out.""I know you're having a girl." 
"I know you're having a boy."

Lack of rashes, morning sickness, fast heartbeat, sweets cravings 
(more like total SUGAR ADDICTION). 

My favorite is my father-in-law: "Is there a follow-through to the kicks and punches?" His theory is if it's a boy, there will be a follow-through. If it's a girl, no follow-through. Have your ever seen a girl through a baseball without training? It makes sense. If his prediction is correct, 
this little creature within is a girl.

Then there's the people that look at you, talk to you for a second and say, "So you're having a girl?"

Then there are the pronouns. Watching what people say when they refer to your little fetus. "Is he kicking?" "She's keeping you up all night, isn't she?" As if these people have some sort of secret subconscious answer for you. 

And the dreams. One boy dream a long time ago. And the rest have been girl. A girl who looks exactly like me when I was a babe. And from the sonogram pics, the baby is looking like Will. 

In my imagination, she also acts like Will. Thank goodness. Hopefully. Please let her be like Will.
This is not self-hate. From the tales we've each heard, he was a 10x better baby. 
Also, as a person, he has some fantastic traits. I could insert my strong traits for some of his weak ones. 
We've found out after being married and living together, he makes up for what I lack and vice versa. Hell yeah. 
But all in all, let her be like Will.

Then there's my own pronoun usage. What do I subconsciously know? What is all this she business?

What about the pencil trick I did with friends a long time ago. What did the horizontal line mean, followed by an up-and-down-vertical motion? I'm going to have a girl and then a boy? What does it all mean?

Then there's the other sonogram picture, where the baby is prepping from shoulderstand to plow pose (halasana), and well we can tell she's going to a little yogi, yes. But there's a little something protruding. A little taco coming forward out of the hip area.

Butt is up, baby is on its neck, looking up at legs overhead. Little something coming from the hip crease.  
But then again, there's a lot going on in this pick. Umbilical cord, bunch of amniotic fluid. 
And girls have little tacos too. 

When people ask, I say "My head says boy, and my heart says girl." So now I've turned the sex of my baby into a battle between head and heart. 

I'm just pouring over all the cues, all the different hints. It's supposed to be a damn mystery. Relax.

Why did I do this to us? We've come too far now. My doula says it's going to be beautiful. I'm just thinking, "Intense." It's going to be so intense. After all that, and with all that going on, and with that on top of all that. Whoa. 

But I'm loving my little green nursery and white onesies.

And I am enjoying the unknown. I appreciate uncertainty. And I freaking love surprises. 

Liza Jane

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Express Yourself

Let's get off the baby boat for a second. 

Don't get excited because tomorrow I'll be right back on it. It consumes me. 
I mean, it's a pretty consuming event. Have mercy.

I want to babble. Thinking about this thing, spiritually. 
Something is pressing everyone. The word press is everywhere.

Express. Repress. Depress. 
It's pressing. 
Something you have to say, something you have to do, someone you have to be. 

So what is it that presses? What is IT? Some kind of force in you. You don't know what it is. 
But it presses, it bubbles, it wants to surge out, go back to join with the Power from where it came. Somehow it got inside you.

Let it fly, friend. Expel the pressing from you through expression. Else, what is your other choice? 
Push it back for a bit--for another time, another place.

And so you hit the middle ground: Repression. Re: Go back, not time for this, not the place for this. I do not have the time, courage, strength, love, etc. You stick it back into you into this middle area, where this little thing of energy goes from ripe to spoiled a bit. But not enough to start stinking, not yet. 

So it tries to find a way back out. It keeps boiling up to the top of your consciousness. Nope. 
Not ready. Can't deal. Can't cope, and now it's all rotted from all the repression. Started to stink.
Send it Deep: De-pression. Bury it so you forget what it is. The little light gets dark, the produce grows spotty, brown, eventually black. 

And now it's deep and stinky, making a mess of your insides. You've forgotten it--buried under all the excuses and resentments, bitterness and complaining. Something you wouldn't allow yourself to say, do, complete. Depression. 

Now that the life form has been depressed, there are all kinds of issues. 
What was it we wanted to bring about?

If you do not express, you will repress, then you will depress. So please express. For all of us. 

Courtesy of watching ballet!

Courtesy: Demond Matsuo painting. I love this series of his paintings.
I want one bad.
Courtesy of Lucinda Williams--one of my favorite singer/songwriters.
Bless her.
Whatever it may be that is being repressed, depressed--it could bless all of us if expressed. 

It could poison all of us if not. There has to be a fine line between depression and oppression. 
Oppose: To press against life. Nothing is right. Everything is wrong. This, that, and the other. Opposing the pressing of all life.

I see the effects of oppression and depression all around me: poverty, drugs, control, fear, pain. 
But expression? I see way, way more of that. Exponentially more. I can hear it too. It's everywhere. Life bursting forth. The sun, music, everything ever written, everything ever authentically said or sung. 

It may be painful through grunts, expanding, growing, screams and pushing--but what you get is worth every moment of excruciating expression. The birth of beauty.

And so may this little post be on the sunny side of that which is pressing every single person. Expressed.

Liza Jane

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl

It's been my thinking, and still kind of is, that sugar is the devil. At least the white crystallized kind. It really does make people feel bad later, a spiking high followed by a very low dose of depression and sometimes anger. At least you're going to feel a little impatience or some kind of hard resistance towards life around you. 
But hey, listen, I am absolutely not about to get on a soapbox about sugar right now. You know why?
I'm addicted. I'm trying to get away from it. I'm with you, friend.

And of course, like I do with all things, I'm going to blame this on circumstances outside of my control: pregnancy cravings.

It's a little ridiculous when the first thing you used to reach for in the morning was an orange, apple or banana. Now? Chocolate. Yeah I go for the chocolate first. SO what?

So I realized what was going on around the sixth month. Coffee, at that point, became an immense craving as well. Some milked up, frothed up, delicious coffee. Just smelling it could make my eyes go black like a shark who has smelled blood. And then the sugar thing happened. And is still happening. Because I just ate the last of the gummy bears I put in my husband's stocking, supposedly intended for his sweet tooth. It made him happy until I ate all of them. Every last one. Don't even get me started on the chocolate-covered coffee beans I've been buying for myself. 

Then there's the baking, which I could also partly blame on the holidays. Brownies, cake, cookies, cake cookies, brownie cake cookies. It's starting to get weird. 

The unbearable hypocrisy of it all! Here I am studying therapeutic yoga and nutrition and I keep getting up for another stupid bowl of cereal at 1:30 in the afternoon, 
like I didn't have two bowls of Kashi's Honey Sunshine earlier this morning. 

Then there was the failed first-round gestational diabetes test. Great. So appalled and embarrassed. You have no idea. "But I study holistic nutrition, what the hell?" The day before my second round of testing, it was like I was withdrawing. I stayed away from sugar, and I passed the stupid test. Still not proud of the overall effort it took for me to stay away from the things I ache for right now. Everything is made of sugar! You really can't get away from it. 

I used to make fun of my husband, his blues name is "Sweet Tooth Jones." Like an older blues man in a juke joint in the 30s, playing the guitar for Bessie Smith, as she croons I need a little sugar in my bowl. A few friends and I joking, "What'd you get for ole Sweet Tooth Jones at the store?" Oh, some organic gluten-free, dairy-free fig cookies. Exactly what he wanted, I'm sure. Sweet Tooth Jones has no problem finding something substantially sweet in our snack cabinet now. 
Carbs are an easy commodity these days.

But now we've got another Sweet Tooth Jones. And I'm pretty positive that we actually have three. Because, of course, this is all baby. I did not do this. 

Oh shoot. Definitely not a good idea to start off this all-important relationship with blaming. But seriously? I was not like this before. I mean I liked a good funnel cake when it presented itself but I wasn't not going to go search one out, sniffing like a bloodhound, losing everybody I was with because my ultra-scent of smell took me straight to a place where grease and powdered sugar rule.

Maybe my blues name can be more jazzy: Blood Sugar Shorty or Cavity Calamity or something like that. Yeah, I like this blues name game. I'll be on this all day.

In short, our family is doomed in sweet-toothness. As crazy healthy as always I've been, right when I'm feeding a little kicking alien inside me, I'd rather have a damn bowl of some cinnamon cereal instead of healthy salad. Right when I've started a certification in holistic nutrition. Does it make sense? No. 

It just doesn't. But it is what is. And that's what it is. One thing still present: I try to stay away from high-fructose corn syrup. And artificial stuff like aspartame and Splenda and all that. 

I'm not all bad. This, too, shall pass. As long as I don't start needing insulin shots. There's got to be some kind of upside to the downward things, right? Oh, yes. There's always some good in the bad and some bad in the good.

Sugar Mama,
Liza Jane