Jerami

you can read me now

Month: October 2018

Life is a good mix

of uncertainty and surety. Of gains and loss. Of love and sadness.

Lying here, I’m contemplating the extraordinary silence of space and a vacuum, wishing I could experience it just once.  I hear my cat. I hear an airplane off in the distance. I hear the fan filter I set up to collect the dust particles floating in the air.  My dog is snoring.

If none of these were present, I would still hear the high frequencies of my nervous system, the hissing of blood in my veins, and beating of my own heart.

I guess that’s how I know I am alive.

I hear my thoughts.

I feel the tightness in my chest that comes with thinking too much. The fear. I shut it out.

There is nothing to fear.

Not being alone. Not people. Not change. Not rejection. Not falling. Not death. Not failing.

As I rise up in the shape and form I have in my mind become, look out over waters and imagine myself walking across them.

I need to get to the other side, but I don’t know how deep, how cold, how swift the current.

There are stepping stones leading away from shore. I don’t know how far they go but they are the only way forward.

So I take them one at a time, not thinking about falling in, only about going as far as possible.

My focus narrows. It’s tempting to direct it downward or behind, but I would lose my balance,  my rhythm, my feel for the stones and my sight of the horizon.

The turbulent, shadowy unknown is all around, taking what energy it can.

I ignore it. I must conserve, so I give nothing back.

Instead I focus on my vision, my goals, my presence. In my in mind and heart, I embrace the reality.

The path is one-way.

The stones are courage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When life hits hard, hit back harder

The world is out of control. Other people’s perceptions and actions are typically out of your control, and most often unpredictable. Sometimes, you may even feel out of control. You can let it overwhelm you or you can prime your mind, spirit subconscious and body to be proactive and ready for the chaos, for those moments of loss, rejection or failure. Take care of yourself. Focus within and know everything will be fine. Your mind, body and spirit will remain calm, strong, resilient, and you’ll be in a position to handle anything.

I call this my oxygen mask theory.

Without taking care of yourself above all the other problems, daily challenges will grow to the size of mountains until there seems to be little hope. Here is my defense process in a nutshell:

Sleep. Hydrate. Nourish. Exercise. Breath. Fun. Love. Learn. Repeat.

I try to incorporate these often into my daily routine. If I’m missing any, I’m putting myself at risk of entering a rut, and if I’m  missing most or all, I’m surely heading for a downward spiral.

My perspective, from all that I have read, as well as listening to what my body and the feedback I get constantly tells me:

  • Get enough sleep, until you wake up naturally – when you feel in your jaw, the jittery strength of serotonin. Consciously decide when a project, person or problem is worth sacrificing sleep for.
  • Get enough water and electrolytes. They make the difference between forgetful, ADHD-like brain fog and full focus all day long. Your body can eliminate the by-products of metabolizing food and environmental toxins much more efficiently.
  • Get the right foods. I swear by eating fermented foods, while staying away from sugar and processed foods means having a healthy digestive tract,  the ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Having the right biome in the gut produces less toxins that impair physical and mental ability.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Release the endorphines, adrenaline, speed up the metabolism. Being flexible and strong and agile allows you to go the distance, without getting hurt, while purging your system, including your digestive tract.
  • Get air. Big air. I have to consciously clear my sinuses with cold and salinated water in the morning as often as possible. This prevents me from getting headaches, but also calms me. Taking an ice cold shower in the morning shocks my body into breathing and moving blood like nothing else will. Throughout the day, if I’m faced with stress, I tend to breathe shallow or not at all. This is when air is most important.
  • Have fun. I ask myself if this is the life I want to live, and am I having fun. When I write my goals down, I should be writing first what I want to do for fun. A daily fun, weekly fun, monthly fun. Then all the work necessary to get there starts to make sense.
  • Be in love. Be in love with myself most importantly. I want to know myself and embrace my weaknesses as human and just reality. Accepting who I am allows me to accept that I can’t control everything or everyone. So when someone’s opinion of me, their feelings for me, or perception who I am changes, my self-image stays positive and constant. If I can do this, I can love and accept others for who they are as well. Being close, loving and being loved unleashes a confidence  like no other, and it is the true source of courage.
  • Learn from all mistakes and failures, as well as others’ failures. A failed relationship, a failed attempt is a step toward getting things right in the future. Everyone makes them.

 

Falling horizon

This morning’s run is dedicated to an army brother who fell a few days ago, just one day before I arrived to catch up with him.

As I approached the mountains this morning, the clouds alight with a promise of sun, I took the high road, camera in hand. All the while, I knew the colors wouldn’t last. It looked as if it might rain, but I imagined the pictures I’d get if I got there on time. 

A few years had gone by, so little did I know he was even in pain. There’s a second where I wondered if I could have done something to change the outcome. Never-the-less, the fate of people and time takes its course. Winter happens upon us all. I’m relieved it hasn’t taken me when I’ve felt its chilly breath at my own back.

When I arrived at the top, I could see all below. But to my disappointment, the clouds had consumed the sun and painted skies gray. So I sat there a moment looking off in the distance, wondering what kind of life I lived. Racing here and to, with some destination in mind. Had I been true to myself and would I look back and smile once I reached the horizon?

SO, hello.  I’m here. Now. Taking a moment to reflect and connect with what’s around me. I’m breathing. Alive. And thankful to experience another glimpse of color, though the colors keep changing and fading.

And here’s to the man whom I met when I was 18 at Fort Huachuca,  to the memories I have  of him and fellow soldiers with us in Mainz, for some time Between Bosnia and Kosovo.

I am lucky I have these to enjoy until then.

 

 

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