Monday, June 28, 2010

Onwards and Upwards

The bicycle pictures are not exactly relevant to the content of the post, but I like them.

My great San Francisco era doctor, Elliott Blackman, was the voice of common sense. When I would drag my sorry ass into his office, feeling lower than a snake's belly (as my friend Lisa used to say), he always asked straightaway, "Have you been eating well and getting enough sleep?"

I was in my early thirties at the time, quite bohemian, a par-tay kind of gal. When my answer to his question was NO, he always shook his head and gave me a look that seemed to say, Well, then, what do you want ME to do??

Since that time, I have been shown, over and over again, just how important simple things like adequate sleep are. In fact, getting enough sleep is a huge component of my Plan to Stay Sane. The fact that I hardly slept over the weekend, and have not had many good nights of sleep in the past couple of weeks, has contributed in a big way to the roller coaster mood swings and bouts of near-insanity. I can't blame everything on the moon, can I?

Last night I got a solid nine hours of deep, restful sleep. I am feeling so much more balanced this morning. Plush is the right word, as if the myelin sheaths surrounding my nerves plumped up overnight. Getting good sleep provides a healthy insulation from all the annoyances of a life fully lived on this beautiful planet.

Here's a gorgeous moon poem that my blog brother Steven left in the comments section of yesterday's post. Steven knows better than anyone how crucial beauty is. His blog is always a work of art, and I learn from him every day. Thank you, Steven. I say that all the time, but let me say it again: Thank you!

drinking alone with the moon

from a pot of wine among the flowers
i drank alone. there was no one with me --
till, raising my cup, i asked the bright moon
to bring me my shadow and make us three.
alas, the moon was unable to drink
and my shadow tagged me vacantly;
but still for a while i had these friends
to cheer me through the end of spring....
i sang. the moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
as long as I knew, we were boon companions.
and then i was drunk, and we lost one another.
...shall goodwill ever be secure?
i watch the long road of the river of stars.

li bai


Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. That poem. Wow.

My Plan to Stay Sane

1. Eat well and get enough sleep
2. Spend time outdoors every day even if the weather isn't perfect.
3. Work hard on projects that bring satisfaction.
4. Spend as much time as you can with people you love.
5. Count your blessings and practice generosity.
6. Cultivate your sense of humor
7. Breathe. Sit down and be still every day for 40 minutes.
8. Sing or hum every single day.
9. Develop a relationship with the Divine, and keep it lively.
10. Take everything less personally and less literally.
11. Lighten up! Carpe diem! Onwards and upwards.


The Bug said...

That looks like an excellent plan. I think I'm going to work on #1 this week! I've already been singing this morning (Sheryl Crow, Soak up the Sun).

ellen abbott said...

What a beautiful perfect list. I shall adopt it. I've been feeling antsy about work again. Not the money making work although we have little enough of that, but the cast glass work. Every time it seems the time is getting nearer to start on it again, it just slips away. This week I have had my beautiful granddaughter and have been spending time loving her, next week we'll be in the city fabricating one of our jobs and then it will be time for another granddaughter's week. I need to let be and just be here now.

BTW, I dreamed about you and your new apartment last night. We (a small group of people, you were showing your apt off for the first time) went down a long hall with doors along it on either side which all looked the same. You stopped before one of the doors and opened it with your key. It was one big room full of wonderful things with a kitchen on one side. The vaulted ceiling had a beautiful criss cross of exposed wooden beams. There was a large doll's dress on a kind of bamboo mannequin and I picked it up but when I did many of the pearl beads started falling off so I put it back, apologizing and helping to retrieve the beads. There was a narrow and steep stairway off to one side of the room that led up to the second story, also a single room, an atrium of sorts that was full of light. I didn't go up there but only gazed at it from the stairway.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a great dream, Ellen! Even the Bridgid dolly is so perfect. wow!!

Hoping that the influence of the frickin' moon begins to soften for you, too.

BTW you will be welcome to visit my new digs anytime you want, with or without hubby. I just have to get a pull out couch. Then I'll be ready for company.

Bug, you go girl. Sheryl Crow? YES.

ewix said...

A splendid wonderful poem

it was some moon wasn't it?
we went up on the roof and looked at it for ages

boiling hot here
Buster has been in the paddling pool every day

Your 11 point plan has excellent suggestions.
When I taught 4 year olds we sang a lot and it was GREAT fun
not to mention good for the lungs and the soul


Reya Mellicker said...

Singing opens the fifth chakra of personal expression. Whether you think you can sing or not, go ahead and do it.

Even humming is great. Someone just did a study to show that humming opens the sinuses.

Hot as hell here, too, Elizabeth.

Mrsupole said...

The poem was great and I can see why it got a "Wow".

Not getting enough sleep can be the buggers and I know from suffering with insomnia since I was a child. Maybe ever few days do I get decent sleep and then the other days just toss and turn. Some days I get about two hours sleep, I do not even know how I function but I do okay.

I like your plan to stay sane, it all makes total sense for what someone should do with their life.
I will have to give it a try. I think it will work wonders for you. I really do like the cultivate your sense of humor and think that one is so important in helping one to handle so many situations. I also think it helps a lot with stress. I guess if you can find something good and funny about a situation then it does make it a lot less stressful. I truly will have to work on that one.

I am so glad that you finally got a good nights sleep. Sleeping well is truly one of the most wonderful gifts someone can give to theirselves. I am wishing many more nights like last night.

God bless.

Cyndy said...

That's a beautiful poem and a great list to start the day with, the week, the month and the year for that matter. And I LOVE the liquid bicycles photo!

Washington Cube said...

Sounds like a nice, practical (meaning "doable") list. Re: the bicycle bell, a blogging friend in Boston just bought a new bicycle which she was customizing with a hip basket (bottle opener carved into the metal) and I asked her, "Does it have a little silver bell you can go *ching ching* with, and she added a picture of the bell.

I was listening to the new Jeff Beck cd last night, including this:

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks for the music, Ms. Cube!

And sweet dreams to you, Mrsupole! May you sleep deep!!

lakeviewer said...

First, congratulations to Steve, for such beautiful poem.
Second, better listen to your body; sooner or later, it will shout so loudly, it will drown every other voice.

I found out that eating fewer animal proteins seems to solve lots of health issues for me. (See my posts on vegan cooking.)

Steve said...

If I don't get adequate sleep, all bets are off. Your plan to stay sane looks wise -- for anyone, not just you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve if you approve, then ... wow.

Rosaria, I'm so glad your plant based diet is working for you. I was never a vegan but for a long time I was a serious vegetarian. I'm meat eater - it never worked for me to substitute beans and rice or dairy products all the time. My rule these days is variety and high quality in food. I still eat too much, but hey, life is short. Chow down, y'all. Shalom.

Reya Mellicker said...

Cube, I've been listening almost obsessively to Ray LaMontagne. He's kind of reminiscent of Van Morrison, but different. Ardent. I love ardent.

Washington Cube said...

Reya: Know him and song well. It's interesting. There is a ton of material controlled/managed by Van Morrison and kept off You Tube. Ditto on Joni Mitchell.

A friend just said to me,(re: Ray) "The man who wants to be Odetta (or Tracy Chapman.") While I was back on Puppy I decided to re-read your list. I do like this list. Also went and read my "Barry" horoscope for the week. All of these "Reya influence" things. OH. And the other day, closer to the solstice, I was...somewhere...and heard someone playing an African instrument that made a rattle sound, THEN got an email from someone having a "sitting in the woods during the full moon by the river drumming" party. I thought, "talk about your rattles." Keep it coming.

Butternut Squash said...

Love the wacky photo, and Steven's poetry is pure joy!

You have an excellent plan, may you follow it gleefully.

Dan Gurney said...

Great plan. Reminds me of the plan in a course called Awakening Joy that I took. My doctor's big on getting plenty of sleep, good food, and exercise, too.

Whitney Lee said...

I really like the plan-I could use a plan. I really need #7.

I discovered a long time ago that I am not a nice person if I don't get enough sleep.

Reya Mellicker said...

Whitney you have two small children. You're lucky if you can sit down quietly for five minutes a day!

steven said...

reya thanks for the sweet call out here. boy oh boy i'm just me. i hope that people know that the poem is the astonishing work of the chinese poet li bai! peace full day. steven

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

Love it, Reya(and LOVE Ray LaMontagna!).

When my son was hospitalized for his 3rd bowel resection (courtesy of Crohn's Disease), he taught me the valuable lesson of cultivating a sense of humor in the face of difficulty.

After realizing that every doctor, nurse, and aide was interested in only one thing, he began to greet everyone with a hearty, "Let's talk poop!"

He has since had his entire colon removed, yet is a CrossFit trainer and owner of his own gym, teaching others every day how to attain their own personal best. When one of his clients (A mixed martial arts fighter!) came to him complaining of a painful blister on his hand, Tony just raised his shirt, showing his hatch-marked abdomen, laughed, and said, "Go tell it to someone else, and get back to work!"

Yes, humor is key.

Reya Mellicker said...

Should I ever lose my sense of humor, someone please shoot me.