Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sedona Method Day #26

My left leg feels weak and painful. I'm doing the PT exercises with the weights on my ankles. Technically, my legs are strong. They sure don't feel like it. Yesterday in yoga class, my teacher noticed that I was standing with my weight towards the outside of my left foot. As soon as I corrected that, I felt my balance improve. (I've been having trouble with standing on my left foot with my eyes closed.) And I felt the muscles that are weak. My yoga teacher showed me exercises to work on those muscles. Good thing there are a finite number of parts in the human body or I'd never see the end of this rehabilitation process.

Last night I received a phone call from the woman who called my husband after the car hit me. I knew I must had said something about where to find my husband, but I had imagined that I was barely conscious, using all my energy to talk. This woman told me that I kept getting up and trying to walk away. I had a yoga class to go to. The people at the accident scene had to hang onto me and try to explain to me that I'd lost too much blood to go.

At least my mind has no trouble focusing on what it wants. And that's useful for the Sedona Method Goals process.

Most of the goals I've seen are phrased in the future. I will finish this project. I will get well.
Some are phrased with negatives. I will stop my bad habits. I will stop seeing garbage on my sidewalk. I will stop having problems with _________.

SM says these types of goals can't work because 1) the only time we can do anything is NOW and 2) the mind can't picture a negative. It is not possible to picture not fighting or not watching television.

The mind can only focus on a positive picture. So, if goals are to be effective they must be phrased in the present and focus on only one positive action.

Examples in the book include: I allow myself easily to have and enjoy the best job for me at this time in my (life / career).
I allow my relationship with ________ to be (easy, relaxed, comfortable, friendly, harmonious, loving)
I allow myself easily and effectively to communicate with _______ (spouse, children, co-workers, boss, friends).
I allow myself lovingly to support ______ in (his/her) growth and freedom.
I allow myself to enjoy eating foods that keep my body slender, healthy and fit.
I allow myself to release naturally and with ease throughout the day.

So, for today, my goals are:
I allow myself to do all my exercises efficiently and comfortably.
I allow myself to enthusiastically call the WGA agents I can find on the web and tell them enthusiastically about my screenplay.
I allow myself to bike comfortably amidst traffic, feeling safe.
I allow myself to edit my book of plays quickly and easily.
I allow myself to format my book of magnet activities quickly and easily.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sedona Method Day #26

I'm back from physical therapy. My shoulder specialist PT tells me I'm able to do things that many people with a similar injury can't do until a year after the accident. I glared at him.

"You probably wanted to do everything you could do before the accident within days of the surgery."

"I wanted to do everything I used to do within minutes of the accident."

I know most people couldn't do what I could do before the accident. I've lost as much as they have lost. It's like suddenly becoming normal physically. I've already noticed that I'm normal on an energy level, too. I guess this is a good basis for a lesson in compassion. I had over 60 years of being strong, flexible, and high energy. Most people have never had that.

But what we all have to deal with is now. Technically, all we ever have is now.

The chapter I'll study in the Sedona Method book tomorrow is Goal Setting. That's going to be fascinating. Goals are for things I want that I don't have now. The idea that I can have a goal and still recognize the now is good.

Einstein had a wonderful explanation time as an illusion. Photons are both particles and waves. Photons move at the speed of light. If you were looking at a clock and sitting on a photon, no matter how far you got from that clock, the time on the clock would never change. If you can postulate this, then you can sense that the only time is now.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Sedona Method Day #25

Today was Yom Kippur, the day of at-one-ment. As Sedona Method says, we desire to be separate and we desire to be at-one. Our desire to be separate is the root of all discord. We say angry things when we want to get away from another person. And our desire to be at-one can also lead to acts that cause separation.

I sent my father an article about a fascinating but forgotten experiment with midwife toads:
My father is a biologist. I was trying to please him. My effort was a dud.
He already knew about this work and he's waiting for somebody to duplicate the work. But
in his opinion, it's not interesting enough for anybody to put in the time.

I need to give up trying to make the connection. If I'm ever going to connect with my father,
it's going to have to be an accident.

Worrying about connecting with others is just as bad for the relationship as speaking in anger.
Yes, I've done that too this year.

Yes! Wipe the slate clean. I renew my intent to live from compassion instead of short term
insecurities.

A day without food is a day with several more hours to contemplate and forgive and focus. The
true hunger is for peace.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sedona Method Day #24

Today I tried putting on two-pound ankle weights before doing my leg-exercises. That's 30 lifts to the front back and side. I don't know why my PT didn't assign adduction or front lifts with foot rotated. I should probably add them in myself. When I get stronger.

Sedona Method keeps saying that pain is in the past and the imagined future. You can always cope with the present.

I'm guessing that Dwoskin has never done 30 leg lifts with a 2 lb weight on his ankle. But he does have a point. While the physical pain is undeniable, I have the choice to stop at any time. I'm doing this exercise by choice. I choose when and where. It's up to me if I want to do all 30, or quit earlier. I could even quit in the middle of a lift, if I want to.

I'm doing these exercises because I want my life back, and the life I've chosen requires strong legs, to ride my bike, to swim, to climb monuments.

In a way putting on those 2 lb weights is a way to remind myself that I'm in charge. I don't have to do any more leg lifts than I want to. I don't have to strap on the weights.

I don't get to make the big picture choices -- like will I get hit by a car today. But I do get to make the choices about what I will do in the smaller picture. I make these choices moment by moment, because life is always changing. That is the real point of Sedona Method. Taking charge of the choices I can make.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sedona Method Day #23

As a former teacher, I have the fantasy that facts are useful when trying to convince someone that what they believe has no basis. Hey, I have to try.

So, I fell for the bait when a twitter correspondent said that the biggest threat to freedom is the US is big-nanny government. I replied that I see the biggest threat as our government treating everybody like terrorists. He replied that defense is a legitimate function of government. I responded that executing innocent people and treason like the PATRIOT act are not legitimate functions of government.

He asked me to name innocents who have been executed. I gave him: Ethel Rosenberg, Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Joe Hill, Mary Surratt, August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden.

Why did I try? My correspondent imagines that Ethel Rosenberg was a Soviet Spy, even though there was never any evidence against her. And that supposed drawing of a nuclear bomb that Julius gave the KGB is so inaccurate that any physics student would know it couldn’t work. Was Julius trying to mislead the Soviets with a purposely misleading drawing? We’ll never know. But being married to a possible prankster is not a crime, and certainly not grounds for execution.

Sacco and Vanzetti were anarchists, not murderers and bank robbers. They should have been protected by the 1st Amendment.

Joe Hill was a union organizer.

Mary Surratt was a landlady. A tenant gave her a gun to give to John Wilkes Booth. He didn’t tell her why. And under the 2nd Amendment, the all had the right to bear arms. But she was hung as a conspirator in the assassination of Lincoln. Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg, escaped the death sentence by 1 vote, and got life in prison. He never knew what Booth had done, or how he broke that leg.

August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, and Samuel Fielden were German immigrants, and self-proclaimed anarchists, who happened to be at the Haymarket in Chicago when a provocateur threw a bomb at police.

No evidence was needed to convict and sentence these people to death.

Now, with the PATRIOT Act, the govt has the right and ability to spy on all of us, read our email, hunting for things they can charge us with.

Silly me. This young correspondent thinks it’s okay to execute the anarchists and the wife of a possible spy. He didn’t comment on Mary Surratt or Joe Hill. And I’m disappointed. I had fantasied that even one innocent execution would help him see the problem with a government that treats citizens like terrorists.
According to SM, I’m wasting my energy being disappointed. I enjoyed the attempt. That is what counts. I had fun. I could not control the outcome. I knew that in advance. My job is to let go of the disappointment. Then again, SM would have me let go of my disappointment if I had just been convicted falsely and lost a battle for my own life. And SM would be right. What good does being disappointed do? The whole point is to use the time and energy I have to do what I want.

Meanwhile, I had a good experience in yoga class. My teacher showed me a way to hold downward dog longer while my arms are still weak. I can rest my forehead on a bolster. This works because it moves part of my weight to my head and off my arms. I’m sure this is a metaphor for something.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Sedona Method Day #22

Hale Dwoskin would be thrilled. Today is one of those days when the whole world is ganging up on me. My external hard drive died. But, supposedly my files are safe because I use an online backup service. And, supposedly my budget is safe because the external hard drive is under warranty. So, I started out calmly.

As the Sedona Method course says: don't WANT control. HAVE Control.

The replacement hard drive arrived. The box was the wrong shape for my old drive, but I have scissors. I packed up the bad drive in the box that the good one arrived in, stuck the prepaid return sticker on the box and it was good to go.

I neglected to READ the address on the return label. That bad hard drive just showed up again at my door. The return label was addressed to me! So, I was back on the webchat with Seagate to get another label. This time they emailed it to me and this time I read it. This time it says it is going to Seagate.

Then I tried to download my backup files onto the new drive. Would you believe it takes 4 or 5 hours to download a 3 gigabyte file from my backup service? 4 or 5 minutes should be sufficient at the speed of my internet connection. I contacted the online backup service. They advised me to use a download manager. Firefox has a download manager. But I followed their instructions and downloaded the one they recommended. Suddenly my estimated backup times were now 10 hours per file. There are 88 of these files. I'm supposed to download everything within 3 days. This is NOT possible. That was yesterday. I uninstalled the download manager and I managed to get 12 files.

This morning I tried to extract those 12 files. Only one of them could be extracted. The others were not valid files. They didn't have the recorded file sizes. And the built-in download manager in Firefox doesn't have a re-download feature. So, I had to start over at the beginning. I was still keeping my cool. These were soluble problems. I wrote the online backup service asking them to extend my alloted download time.

I told my husband, the alien, about my problems hoping for sympathy. He started giving me explanations that made as much sense as the pointy-haired boss on Dilbert. This is my profession - not his. I tried a few rounds of "No, that's not what happened. No, that won't fix it." He kept telling me what was wrong from his perspective. I lost it. "If you want me to explain it to you, you need to ask questions. There's no point in telling me what you think is wrong."

So much for all my learning about not wanting approval and not wanting control. I wanted both desperately and here I was doing the most counterproductive thing possible -- bossing my well-meaning husband around, which I know he hates just as much as humans.

Fortunately, I've also been telling him about Sedona Method. And he was able to quote it to me. Not exactly. What he said was, "I love you. There's no point in yelling at me." That was just want I needed to return my mind to a calm gear.

SM can take the lid off frustration and prevent arguments -- but only if I remember to use it.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sedona Method Day #21

Yikes! Duality! I seem to be of two minds about everything, today. I’ve waited so long to be told I can ride my bike anywhere I want to go. Finally I get a good x-ray. I have permission. And now my body hurts so much I don’t want to go very far. Later today, I’ll bike 2.5 miles downtown and 2.5 miles back again. Yesterday I couldn’t do that much. It’s as if my body wants and doesn’t want to be active again.

My mind does the same thing. I want to help my husband set up audio chat through his computer and at the same time, I wish it didn’t take so long and have so many complications. I figure if I wasn’t torn by two desires (help him and have it be easy) that I wouldn’t mind the setbacks. I’ve had days like that – when setbacks were just part of the job. But today I feel conflicted.

The sections I read in Sedona Method are also about duality. In the section about wanting security, Dwoskin also talks about wanting death, taking extreme risks. The assignment is to release on both aspects. In my current mindset, I’m not sure how much of a risk riding my bike is. That may have something to do with my body’s ambivalence.

The other section was about wanting to be separate and wanting to be one. This one I understand. When my children or grandchildren are angry with me, part of me wants a time-out away from them and part of me wants to hug them and throw a switch to turn the anger off. Again, the assignment is to release the thoughts and physical sensations on both aspects.

The final part of this exercise is to dive deeply into the feeling of wanting to be separate and also to dive deeply into the feeling of wanting to be one. I remembered being sent to my room as a child. I was relieved to be away from my angry father. And at the same time, I wished he wasn’t angry. There was never any cause for his anger. Yes he named things like something I’d said or something I didn’t eat. But I never believed those were real reasons. He was just angry and I was just the target. I knew it wasn’t my fault and I felt a deep sense of safety and belonging, not to my father but to a larger and more calm universe. The door to my room symbolized this safety.

Likewise, when I meditate, I feel like I’m at the doorway to that same larger universe. I feel a sense of welcome. But I’m always a guest in this larger universe. It’s always there. I can always go there. But something in me keeps believing that this is NOT home. Something in me feels that there are two ways to behave. This world of rushing around and that world where nothing is in a hurry.

It feels phony to visit the “no hurry” universe, as if it is a separate place, like going to the beach. The question is: can I live in the “no hurry” mode while I’m in the city? I have the sense that if I could, my body would calm down and let me go places without hurting.

Get a copy of Sedona Method here:

The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sedona Method Day #20

Sedona Method says wanting approval is at the core of much unhappiness. Today, my assignment is to remember times in the past when I wanted approval and then note how I feel about them now.

For me approval is a warm relaxed feeling – a sense that I have a right to be alive and on this planet, with the people and responsibilities I currently enjoy. I have had a lifelong struggle with the fickleness of this feeling.

For starts there was my father. He made very clear that I was a failure on two counts. 1) I was not a boy and 2) I did not idolize him. (Why would I since he’d already made clear that I wasn’t what he wanted? And if we idolize anybody, it’s somebody who encourages us.) As a child, I wanted his approval so he’d stop hurting me.

As an adult, I can see that my real want was survival. If it was possible to kill by spanking and insults, I’d be dead. The assignment is to let these feelings go. It’s easy to let go of wanting approval from a crazy man. But I’m having trouble letting go of wanting survival. I know I don’t have a choice. I never had a choice. Not when I was under my father’s roof (I got born into that situation), and not when I got hit by a car (totally random). So wanting survival is meaningless. But I’m having trouble releasing on it.

The next phase is to look for situation where I want approval now. There’s my writing. I always want editors and publishers and readers to love my writing. That means they’ll pay me for it. Which is another survival issue.

And there’s this Sedona Method experiment I’m doing. I feel a sense of approval (that warm relaxed feeling) when I succeed in letting go of something that was bothering me.

I can see that approval from anybody for anything is totally out of my control. The actual approval is within myself. If some stranger were to say, “I approve of you,” that would be meaningless. It is only my interpretation that gives approval meaning.

Therefore I’m the one giving myself approval at any time – including when I release stress.

The checklist so far: Wanting control is out because control impossible. I don’t run the world. And wanting approval makes no sense, since I’m the only one whose approval matters. Knowing these facts will help when my mind goes into old painful patterns.

Right now my back is hurting because I overdid it yesterday. For that, the only cure I can come up with is to go lie down. Pre-accident, I might have taken an aspirin and made myself go out and do things. I don’t have to do that today.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sedona Method Day #19

I get it that I'm not supposed to lift weights over my head.
"What about standing on my head?"

Shoulder Expert PT: "Standing on your head is okay. But if you fall, you could break your collar bone again."

"I'm not going to fall. I've been standing on my head since I was 5 years old."

Shoulder Expert PT: "How long have you been being hit by cars?"

"Since I was 9."

Shoulder Expert PT: "That explains a lot."

Maybe so. Today I decided to do what I've been waiting over 2 months to do. Ride my bike to the grocery store. This is freedom. This is doing my fair share of the work. And I love riding my bike. Finally, I can do what I usually do. I don't ride the bus. I don't buy just one wimpy little bag of veggies. I ride my bike and I fill up both my pannier with the heavy stuff. I'm now allowed 8 lbs per bag. And I'm allowed to wheel my bike up and down my stairs.

I put on my new helmet. The one with the jaw protector.

I never want to crack my jaw again. I put on my leather biking gloves with the open fingertips. I put on my curved yellow sunglasses to protect my eyes from the loose pebbles that tend to fly up from the street. I strapped my fanny pack around my waist. I wheeled my bike down the 3 steps to the street. I locked my door. I walked my bike up to the major cross street. And I was terrified. What if I got hit again? And wound up in the hospital again?

I tried releasing on Fear. I did that when it was the exercise in the Sedona Method book. I did that when I was releasing on memories. Memories really aren't scary. They are over and done. I looked down the street. It's a one-way street. A big fat bus was coming. I waited. I was still scared. I was on the sidewalk and I was scared of a bus in the street. The future is just in my imagination. Nothing scary is going on right now. I waited for the bus to pass. I waited for a truck and some cars. I waited until there was no traffic coming for several blocks. It was 3 PM in the afternoon. A time of low traffic. Finally, I put my bike into the street.

I have rear view mirrors on my sunglasses.

I pulled far to the right when I saw a car coming.
When I was on narrow streets, I rode on the sidewalk. Very few pedestrians were out. I got off my bike and walked around them. One lady saw me, and she stepped to the side so I could continue to ride.

I bought the groceries, and proceeded to pack them into my pannier.
A staffer offered to bag some into a paper sack for me. I tried to explain that if I can't fit the food into my saddle bags, I can't get it home. And I've been shopping enough years that I know what will fit. Oranges, yogurt, walnuts, pecans, nothing breakable, just in case. I noticed that with all that weight on my bike, my left arm doesn't have the control it used to have. The fear started up again.

Look around. A car zoomed out of the parking lot without stopping to look. That driver would have killed any pedestrian on the sidewalk (there were none) or passengers in any car going down the street (also empty). Okay. All clear. I biked slowly. I pulled over a lot. The only time I noticed a major increase in my heart rate was going up hill.

I got home. I took the pannier off my bike. I don't want to exceed my weight limit. I pushed the bike up the 3 steps into my living room. I went out again and carried in the pannier one at a time. I gave my dog a munchie. I put the groceries away.

There is nothing scary going on right now. That's my current motto.

Last time I looked there were used copies of the Sedona Method book for under $4:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sedona Method Day #18

Yay! My collar bone is growing back. I'm now allowed to carry my bike down the 3 stairs to the sidewalk, and back up again. This is a huge piece of getting my life back! Jock-doc gave me a new prescription for physical therapy so I can have new exercises that strengthen as well as stretch. PT handed me a pair of 5 lb dumbbells. I immediately lifted them over my head in a victory salute. PT freaked. "Don't lift things over your head until at least 4 months after the accident. My wife didn't listen to me and it took her longer to heal."

"But, Jock-doc said I could lift 5 lb weights and I've been doing it..."

"Jock-doc didn't know what you were doing with them."

PT also didn't like how I exercise my obliques, but I specifically showed that one to Jock-doc and all Jock-doc did was correct my arm position. Hands on shoulders, arms folded across chest.

I'm getting my life back! And everybody is bugging me to sue the hospital for showing me somebody else's x-ray. What for? It was a simple mistake. I don't want to be sued for every mistake I make. I accidentally broke a client's motherboard and had to order a replacement. It took a week longer than I'd promised to fix her computer. I bought her an extra RAM chip to try to make up for it. I apologized (which is more than any doctor has ever done for me). But she still could have sued me.

Every profession can make mistakes. I don't think we should go around suing each other over every little thing. There is no evidence that having this surgery is in any way going to make a difference in my life. It's a problem that can be fixed by a simple change in the software that displays x-rays on computer screens. I've written to the company that makes the software. They are talking to doctors.

I don't want to waste a minute of my life suing somebody, when they can't give me what I want. I want my life back. Now, if the hospital had a time machine and I could go back and undo the accident, and the only way to get access to the time machine was to sue them, I'd be there with a lawsuit in hand. But in all likelihood, if they had that time machine, they'd be charging a fee to use it and my medical insurance would be thrilled to pay for it if it was cheaper than spending time in the hospital and having surgery, and then follow-up visits and rehab.

All of which brings me to today's Sedona Method experiment. More variations on letting go of my desire to control things / people / time / random events. When my husband and I went to pick up the carshare car, neither of us had brought the keyfob that unlocks the door. We had to go home again. I looked at my watch. I saw that we'd be about 5 or 10 minutes late. Our appointment is always 15 minutes after our check-in time, so I didn't think it would matter. I've been practicing. I didn't go into my usual self-kicking mode of "why didn't I bring my keyfob?" Here was a situation I instantly recognized as out of my control. But I could control myself.
This stuff is not theoretical, and not just confined to reliving past miseries. It works right now, when I can remember to use it.

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The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sedona Method Day #17

In celebration of the New Year, I made an apple cake. Actually, I made two of them because we were going to visit a Chinese family, and they don’t enjoy chocolate. (Normally I bring chocolate when I go visiting.) One of the other guests marveled that this cake tasted just like the one his grandmother used to make. This surprised me because I use whole wheat flour, and his grandmother was from the same generation as my mother, who used white flour. Also, I use safflower oil, which has a distinctive taste. My mother used a generic vegetable oil. And I used fuji apples which weren’t available when he was a child. But, I’ll take a compliment when I can get it – at least I think that was a compliment. (Another Wanting Approval issue.)

Apple Cake
6 apples, (about 1 quart of chopped apple)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a silicone bundt pan with no-stick spray

Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.

I finally have the process of getting a bundt cake out of the mold under control. I bought a silicone bundt pan. It’s soft and flexible and you can turn it inside out if necessary. This year my apple cake came out gorgeous! In Sedona Method terms, I no longer WANT control. I HAVE control. This is one of those problems that can be solved by throwing money at it.


Today’s assignment is to list things I want to control and describe how I feel about them. Then list situations in which I want to be controlled, and how I feel about them. And then, release on the whole thing.

I want to instantly heal my body
I want my dog to do his urinating outside
I want Hollywood folks to produce my movies
I want my children to like me and be nice to me

In short, I want the world to be the way I want it to be. I want to be free of pain both mentally and physically. Not just free of pain but free of nuisances, and annoyances. And I know I can’t have that, so wanting it is illogical. So, the only way to handle this is to go about my days, asking for what I want, with full respect for the other people involved that it might not be right for them. But I have no idea how to communicate with my dog. I just can’t release my idea that he should be housetrained, even though I know from 9 years experience that he can’t be. I guess we’re equally stubborn. I want to feel respected and appreciated.

As for wanting to be controlled. That’s hard. But when I hire somebody to fix my washing machine and get that stuck sock out, I want to be told, “Yes, I can do it, and No, I don’t want your help.” When I go to the chiropractor, I want to be rearranged so I’m no longer in pain. I want to be able to hire people I trust to do things that affect my life. This is two-way. I want the control over whom I hire and then I want them to be in control. I want to feel safe.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sedona Method Day #16

Job was G-d’s lab rat. G-d’s lab partner, Satan, came over for a drink. The two of them started placing bets on how well Job could get through a maze of difficulties. Take away his animals, his crops, his children, his home, his health. When Job complained, there was no protection for human experimental subjects organization to come to his rescue. And when the experiment was over, and G-d collected his winnings, he gave Job’s stuff back. While crops are indistinguishable, and his health restored was just fine, he didn’t get the same animals, the ones he knew and loved – he got new ones. And his wife had to get pregnant 10 more times!

According to Sedona Method, the real reasons we are unhappy are perceived lacks. We feel a lack of approval, control, and security. Job ransacked his mind – had he done something to lose G-d’s approval? He couldn’t think of anything. And as the story is told, Job was picked for this experiment because he was considered the Best. Yikes – if this is how G-d treats the best experimental lab rat, what’s the point in being the best?

Job had no control over anything that G-d took from him. But Job had security. G-d placed one limitation on Satan. He could not kill Job. You can call that security if you want. And Job never cursed G-d. He cursed the day he was born, the days his children were born, the days he planted his crops. But he never cursed G-d who put him in this maze and set up his torments.

Within the terms of this story, I am not as good a rat as Job. For that, I am thankful.

According to SM, the goal here is to let go of the sense of lack. There’s nothing wrong with having approval, control and security. The pain comes from feeling a lack of them. SM also claims that there is perfection in the seeming imperfection that we seem to see.

All we think we know of the universe comes through our senses. All our senses can hallucinate. We cannot know what is real. We can only know what we think. And I’ve been learning that a lot of what I think makes no sense.

Why do I want to have my movies on the big screen? It’s really an approval issue. It would prove that my stories are truly entertaining, as I think they are.

SM asks, what if I could feel that approval, that level of happiness, without getting the movies on the big screen? Is that possible? Probably. I’ve had experiences of total happiness that had no logical basis. And I’ve read stories of people who are Hollywood successes who are unhappy. So, maybe there is no logical connection between success and happiness. SM asks that I let go of wanting approval.

I like to think that I do that a lot. When I’m writing, I create stories for the pure fun of it. But when I send my work out into the world, I have an agenda. I’m looking for a connection that will put my stories out there where audiences will approve of them. And yes, I am unhappy that I don’t have that approval, that success.

I can feel and see that the ouchercises I’m doing are giving me greater range of motion for my left arm. I can see where the SM exercises have relieved me of a great deal of anger. But I thought the SM book promised that these exercises were going to help me accomplish my goals.. Now the book wants me to be happy without that goal? Yes, I want to be happy. And true, I don’t really care where the happiness comes from. But SM claims the easiest way to get what you want is to stop caring if you get it.

That’s a weird mindset. I suspect Job would have understood it.

Here's where to get a copy of the book:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sedona Method Day #15

I’m having an interesting discussion on Twitter (@geezer_chick) about the meaning of the word “very.” I remember about a decade ago learning that the word “very” is actually a minimizer. The sentence “She is tall” is interpreted as taller than “She is very tall.” The same applies to any adjective. I was skeptical when I first learned this, but after many conversations and test situations, I now agree with this counter-intuitive conclusion. While the speaker’s intent when using the word “very” is to make the impression bigger, the opposite occurs in the listener’s mind.

Randy Rambo’s website http://www2.ivcc.edu/rambo/eng1001/eng1001_diction.htm says:

Finally, "very" is a word to avoid. When you use the word "very," you are most likely doing what is described above: trying to change the wrong word into the right one. Why not get rid of "very" and use the right word instead?

For example, "I was very happy" could become "I was overjoyed," and "I was very scared" could become "I was terrified." When you choose the right word, "very" often sounds strange in front of it. For example, you probably would not say, "I was very overjoyed" or "I was very terrified," right? If you have chosen the right word, there is no need to try to turn it into something else with the word "very."

I’ll try to use the right words for today’s assignment.

Today’s assignment is to list parts of my life that I’m happy or contented with, and release on them, because even when we are happy, we are conflicted. Do I have the right to be happy about (fill in your good thing here) when (name your terrible issue here)? And besides (good thing) isn’t perfect. There’s always that missing sock when you’re putting away the laundry.

Things I’m happy with, grateful for (even if they have missing socks):

My marriage. I love being with my alien husband, talking with him, sitting with him, going places with him, watching him eat or even just breathe. He smells right.

My health. Despite all the problems and pain from being hit by a car, I’m heathy. There’s just a big missing sock.

My garden. I’ve learned enough over the years to know how to mulch to minimize weeds and watering. Basically, I plant, visit the plants, and harvest. It’s fun and foody with very little work.

My friends. I can count on them to send me good ideas, run errands and help me when I can’t do things for myself.

My house. It has enough space. It’s insulated. And it doesn’t need any repairs right now.

My computer. It’s up and running and it lets me write with my dvorak keyboard. And it keeps me connected to the world.

That done, the missing socks don’t bother me much on things that are working well. I hope the instructions in this book will bring more areas of my life onto the enjoyment side of the ledger.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sedona Method Day #14

Serenity is the goal in Chapter 5 in Sedona Method. Yes, the Serenity prayer. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

SM says this is dilemma becomes surprisingly easy if you release on wanting to change things.
SM claims that if you release on wanting to change things, you’ll be okay with accepting things you cannot change, full of ideas about how to change the things you can, and you will have no doubts about the difference.

Today’s assignment is to make a list of things I want to change. SM says the founder, Lester Levinson discovered that he wanted to change almost everything in the past, the present and the future. And he felt much better after he did this exercise. He no longer wanted to change everything. And he had much more energy since he was no longer trying to do impossible things.

Here’s a brief list of things I want to change:
I want to change from somebody in rehab to somebody with a strong, healthy and flexible body. Now! Without waiting! Yes, I want to change the past and undo that car hitting me.
I want to change my kids into people who like me.
I want to change my luck in Hollywood so I’ll find the people who can make my screenplays turned into movies.
I want to change the efficiency and strength with which I work, so I can get more done.
I want to change my childhood into a happy childhood.
I want to change my dog’s mind, so he likes me, and he’s house trained.
I want to change gravity so it stops pulling me down.
I want to change the people who call me on the phone from annoying salespeople into nice people who want to buy my writing, or hire me as a storytelling magician.
I want to change the people I like into people I still like, but who now are influential in ways that can help me.
I want to change my memory so I don’t need to consult notes all the time. I don’t like it that I need to bring a list to the grocery store, and then I still forget stuff.

Okay. I can see that most of these are things I cannot change. And spending any time ruminating about how my life would be different if it was different isn’t going to get me anywhere. This is yet another exercise in sanity.

Meanwhile, my PT gave me a blue rubber band to make the ouchercises harder. And he have me 3 more exercises. I timed it. It now takes 25 minutes to do the basic set of arm ouchercises. I’m supposed to do the arm ouchercises 4 times a day. Then there are the leg exercises. An the abs exercises. I love exercise. I want to change my arms so I can do exercises instead of ouchercises. That’s why I’m doing the ouchercises.

Had to stop typing and laugh. Sanity is just plain humorous. When I can remember to do it.

The next assignment is to list things that are going well – things I don’t want to change.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sedona Method Day #13

I grow comfrey in my yard. It attracts bees, and I use it on scrapes and cuts to help skin heal. A friend mentioned that another name of comfrey is bone-knit. I went on line and – ta-da! - I learned that comfrey root poultice does indeed speed bone growth. But, I can’t use a shovel. When my husband gets home, I’ll ask him to dig up a comfrey plant so I can cook the root and make a poultice. Sometimes what you need really is in your own back yard.

On with the Resistance lesson. One technique Sedona Method uses to deal with Resistance is two-fold. Ask yourself: Am I willing to give up resisting not being / doing / having _____? And ask yourself: Am I willing to give up resisting being / doing / having ________?

Here is my original wish list:

My screenplay becomes hit movie in the movie theaters.
Actually lots of my screenplays become hit movies
My books are best sellers, and really good, too. (I know some books sell well, but aren’t enjoyable reads.)
My body is strong healthy, comfortable, and flexible.
I am paid at or higher than standard professional rates for my work.
I have strong loving relationships with family and friends and pets.
My husband and I take wonder-filled first class vacations all over the world, several times a year.
My husband and I spend a week on the space station, floating around at zero gravity, and take a space walk.
My storytelling skills continually improve.
My magic skills continually improve.
I develop my magical storytelling into a popular commercially successful event.
My science teaching videos become a popular series, and I get help from other innovative science teachers making them even more fun.
See the world sanely – so if somebody says or does something I don’t like, I act appropriately. If I can stop it, I do. I don’t waste my energy in fear and anger.

Am I willing to give up resisting not having a hit movie?
Am I willing to give up resisting having a hit movie?
What comes up is Lust. A feeling that maybe I’m not allowed to have a hit movie. Can I welcome that feeling of lusting for a hit movie? Can I let that feeling go?

This feels odd. Part of me is saying this is silly. I don’t know what I don’t know, so I don’t know why nobody has snapped up my amazing scripts yet. Another part is saying, remember when you were 9 and NO just meant wait a while or ask somebody else? Unless it meant - you’re getting a spanking and you’re being sent to your room and you’re getting yelled at, and no supper. But that just meant, find another way to do it. I’d forgotten about that life-view, and in many ways it makes more sense than my current supposedly more adaptive view.

The same applies to my wishlist about my books being best sellers, and my being paid professional wages, and my science videos becoming popular.

Does anybody out there in blog-reading land know a WGA Agent? I have a script that would be perfect for Hallmark Hall of Fame and Hallmark only reads screenplays submitted by WGA Agents.

Now about my body being strong, healthy, comfortable and flexible.
Am I willing to give up resisting my body not being strong, healthy, comfortable and flexible?
Am I willing to give up resisting my body being strong, healthy, comfortable and flexible?

I “get” the first part. That’s my patience issue.
The 2nd part is intriguing. Is there some part of me that likes being waited on? That likes knowing that laundry and shopping get done even when I can’t do them? And if so, do I have to be incapacitated to ask for this kind of help?

In addition, I’ve been wanting to get out of the computer repair business. This forced vacation is giving me time to work on other things with an intensity that is impossible after a hard day’s work. Reading and writing are what I really enjoy. Along with the occasional performance. I may create a whole new career that I’ll like better.

One good thing has already come of this accident. My nose got broken. How is this good? My nose got broken about 20 years ago and I never got it fixed. This time, the folks in the ER fixed it. It’s amazing how much easier it is to use my neti pot now that my nose is straight.

A neti pot is an Indian invention for pouring salt water through your nose. It washes away pollen, so there’s nothing to be allergic to. And it washes out bacteria and viruses so I almost never get colds or flu. If you want more information, here’s a link:

http://yoga108.org/pages/show/106-how-to-use-a-neti-pot-without-danger

and here’s a link where you can buy one made of stainless steel and give a commission to my friends at simegen.com

http://www.healthandyoga.com/asp/ap/redir1.aspx?id=BV398&pid=95

Those vacations depend on several variables. 1) that we can afford them and 2) that my husband and I can take time away from our work. (See new career above.)

Am I willing to give up resisting a new career?
Am I willing to give up not resisting a new career?
This isn’t going to be solved in one day, but this is fascinating. Can my new career provide the extra money? (Also see professional wages above.) Are the magic skills and story telling part of this? Along with the reading and writing?

And finally, is all this sane?

Here's a link to the Sedona Method book:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sedona Method Day #12

This Sunday my husband carried my bike downstairs so I could bike to a computer job. When I got home, he carried it upstairs again for me. If I think about the 5 lb lifting limit I’ve been living with for the past month (it was even less before that) I’ll get grouchy. That’s the key – think about now. Don’t think about your story. Don’t interpret your story. Just keep going.

The 4th chapter of Sedona Method is about Resistance.
Early in the chapter Dwoskin asks the reader to pick one hand as the pushing hand and the other hand as the resisting hand. Place the hands together. Notice how the resisting hand feels. Switch. Again, notice how the resisting hand and arm feel. That feeling is resistance.

Next think about something you are supposed to do that you don’t want to do. Notice if you feel that same resisting sensation anywhere in your body. Welcome that feeling. Then ask yourself, Would you let it go? When?

According to SM, resistance slows us down. Resistance even keeps us from doing things we want to do. I had planned to go to a local storytelling group Sunday afternoon. But I forgot all about it until half an hour after I should have caught the bus. I want to go to this group. I want to hear stories and I want to sign up to practice my own stories. But something in me resisted and I didn’t go. With SM, I don’t need to figure out what I’m resisting. I just need to let it go.

SM says even things you don’t want to do become easier once you let go of resistance.

I have a dog who is afraid of all other dogs, so when we walk him, he tries to attack any dog he sees. He is also bossy. The sign on his pen at the animal shelter where we got him said he was house-trained. He’s not. And worst of all, when he wants something he has a high-pitched nagging bark. When I hear this bark, my arms get tense, just like when I’m pushing and resisting.
SM says to welcome the resistance and let it go.

Easier said than done. But now that I know to pay attention to my tension, I can do something to help myself and help my dog. This action is a source of compassion.

SM points out that you can’t feel somebody else pushing on you. You can only feel your own resistance. The assignment is to make a list of things you are supposed to do and write down how you feel about them. Then release on the feelings, no matter what they are.

My ouchercises fear of pain
fixing computers lust for approval and payment
walking my dog anger if he barks
writing this blog fear of the process and my own thoughts

Even just admitting these feelings helps me release them.

But then comes the final assignment in the chapter. Look at the wish list and figure out the resistance to each of them. Dwoskin promises that releasing the resistance will make each item on the wish list easier to achieve, just like the supposed to list. That’s my assignment for tomorrow.

Here's a link to the book:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sedona Method Day #11

A friend just explained to me that Sedona Method's definition of Pride comes from the Roman Catholic 7 Deadly Sins. This was a gap in my education. If anybody out there understands the SM definition of Peace, please help me out here, too.

Peace. That’s the final emotion in the Sedona Method system. According to SM, when we experience Peace, our minds are clear, we have lots of energy, but there is nothing we want to do. We are content that “Life is as it is, and all is well.”

Words SM uses to describe Peace include:
ageless, awareness, calm, centered, complete, fulfilled, perfection, still, unlimited.

I’m not impressed. This is the pinnacle of what the course teaches, and I’m not sure I want it. So much is wrong with this world. Wars. Starvation. Disease. Violence. Hatred. It seems like treason to the inhabitants of this planet to think of this world as perfect.

On the other hand, it would be great to live in a perfect world. Does SM actually work like a Star Trek transporter and put you in a different world? I don’t want blinders. I don’t want to ignore the bad parts of this world, or avoid them. All I started out wanting was to stop being angry, or feeling anger. I feel like I’m making progress in that direction. Now, I’m picking nits with the book because the author recommends something that makes no sense to me.

The book says not to worry if you aren’t there yet. What the author, Hale Dwoskin, hopes the reader has learned by this point is that you are not your emotions. You have emotions. But instead of saying, “I am angry,” you can now say, “I feel angry.” You are not anger, but you can feel anger. And you can let it go. It’s just an emotion.

The book gives the example of holding a pen or pencil. Hold it tight. Squeeze it in your hand. Now, let it go. Drop it. It may feel strange, but you can do this. An emotion is no more you than that pen or pencil. You can get in the habit of holding it. But you can also decide to let release it.
Emotions are just emotions. They are not you. They are not facts. They are thoughts, and you can change your thoughts.

The assignment at the end of this section is to practice noticing when you feel an emotion, and then practice letting it go. Be gentle with yourself. Allow the feelings to be there and recognize them. Then, when you are ready, release them. That's all great, but what has it got to do with experiencing this world as perfect?

Here's a link to the book:

The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sedona Method Day #10

Friday night I received an email informing me that my yoga center just closed. I enjoy this yoga center. I just bought a 50-lesson package. The center says I can go to their New York branch for the rest of my lesson package. They have to be kidding! They think I’ll commute more than 2 hours each way for a yoga lesson. One of the reasons I picked this center is that they were conveniently located. I figure asking for a refund is probably hopeless. So, I asked for a section of their rope wall. So far no answer. It was nice to be able to deal with this unpleasant news without freaking out. Sedona Method is helping.

The eighth or penultimate emotion in Sedona Method is Acceptance.

According to the book, when we experience Acceptance, we enjoy everything as it is. We feel no desire to change anything.

This is an experiment. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

This is the most daunting assignment yet. I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around accepting everything as it is. I am working on getting my strength and flexibility back. I wouldn’t be working at it if I could accept the current condition of my body. Or is the SM course asking me just to accept that I am working on it, knowing that the universe is in constant flux and I may or may not reach my goal? If the latter, it’s possible. In fact, it’s not really a choice. I’ve learned that much so far in this course.

But then the book goes on to say how energetic and happy people feel when they experience Acceptance. I’m so glad this is an experiment. I am not required to get the specific result that the book promises. It’s just a book. What works for one author might not work for another.

Words that SM uses to describe Acceptance include:
beautiful, belonging, delight, compassion, empathy, friendly, glowing, gracious, intuitive, playful, understanding, loving, wonder.

This description looks like exactly what I want! If I could feel like that – that is my definition of happy.

The book says to remember when you or someone you know felt like that.

I have occasional flashes of what feels like deep insight, in which I hear in two modes simultaneously. I hear the surface anger and I also hear the underlying concern. I’ve read that successful sales people hear objections as an invitation to explain more about the product. This is beyond that because the simultaneous hearing mode has no agenda and the overwhelming emotion is compassion mixed with joy.

Yes, I know compassion usually seems like concern for others in a serious mode. But when I have these flashes, I do not feel serious. Everything seems possible. Things that used to bother me seem like jokes that I just didn’t get at the time.

Like courageousness, SM says this is a natural state. Unlike courageousness, it is not a frequent experience. It’s just the occasional flash.

The assignment: remember what it was like to feel Acceptance. Since I’m a tactile person, I need to conjure up the physical feeling. First of all, I remember that during those flashes, there was no physical pain. Once I was so startled to be free of pain that I had a momentary thought about kicking something to see if my toes would hurt, but I didn’t do it. I don’t know how to switch off pain. But something in my body does. Hey, I don’t know how to make my heart beat, but something in my body does.

I can accept the fact that a state exists in which I am free of pain both emotional and physical and in which I hear on two levels at once. I know it exists. But I can’t conjure it, so I can’t let it go.

I will continue with this experiment. Maybe a future chapter will have more clues. I’ve made progress in letting go of anger over the past 10 days. I’m not going to give up on further gains.

Here's a link to the book:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sedona Method Day #9

I wrote the company that made the software that my hospital used for showing and zooming in on x-rays. This software is what made it possible for them to show me somebody else’s x-ray and convince me to have surgery. I told them they should keep the person’s name in the corner visible at all times. (Actually, this is my brother’s idea.) The company was interested in the idea. They were also interested in the fact that my hospital hasn't paid them for this quarter's use of their software. I should not feel this way, but I like making the hospital pay for their mistake. The software company also said they will seriously consider altering their software to do what I want. They claim it is now possible to show the name. It needs to be impossible NOT to.

Other good news – I had a new yoga teacher last night. She was good. She had a bunch of armpit stretches that I really need. Stand facing the wall, with your toes about 3 or 4 inches from the wall. Reach your arms up as high as you can and place your hands on the wall. Reach up with your thumbs and push your buttocks out away from the wall about 3 or 4 inches. If I’m ever going to get my arms to reach as far as they used to, this stretch will help.

Finally the Sedona Method book is into the good stuff. Sedona Method says that apathy, grief, fear, lust, anger and pride are just covering up our true “can do” selves. Today’s emotion is courageousness. And the book says that when you let go of your feeling of courageousness you feel even better.

According to the book, when we are courageous, we can act without hesitation. We have the ability to do, to correct, to change whatever and whenever. We have the ability to let go and move on. Our bodies have more energy and we use it not only for our own success but also to help others succeed.

The attitude of Courageousness is: Life is Fun!

I was having fun when I got hit by a car. I had energy and I was using it for my own success and to help others. There’s something about being in pain and losing the ability to take care of myself that brought on the other emotions.

Some of the words Sedona Method uses to describe courageousness are: adventurous, alert, assured, cheerful, compassion, confident, competent, eager, enthusiastic, focused, honorable, independent, integrity, loving, motivated, resilient, secure, strong, visionary.

SM says this is our true selves. It just gets hidden by the other emotions.

At physical therapy, my PT asked me if there was any way to protect his PowerPoint files so nobody could steal his photos. I told him you can lock a file so nobody can edit it, but there’s no way to prevent someone with a screen capture program from cutting out a photo and using it as an independent file. The captured photo would have limited resolution, but it could be re-used. I suggested he get his photos watermarked by the graphic department. Then nobody would want to steal them, because they would be obvious thefts.

You have to know how to be a thief in order to defend against theft. It appears that you have to know how to recognize unproductive thoughts in order to choose the useful ones.

When I’m feeling courageous, it never occurs to me to hang onto that feeling. It feels natural. When in that state, I never question it. Then, again, I never questioned the other emotions either. But according to this book, there’s more to life even than courageousness. There’s consciously choosing to let that feeling go.

One of my exercises involves using my right hand to push my left arm up behind my back. It hurts. It feels impossible. The instructions say to hold it as best you can for 10 seconds. Let go. Then do it again for another 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do this sequence 4 or 5 times a day. This pushing and letting go does lead to progress. By the 10th repetition, I can get my left arm up high enough along my back that I can let go with my right hand, reach over my right shoulder with my right hand and touch my fingertips from both hands together.

Yes, this used to be easy. I did it all the time in yoga class. Now it’s a major accomplishment. And it hurts. But the pain is just physical. This is something I can do. My emotions are not tied to my physical sensations. There goes that excuse. That seems to be the point of the course. Get rid of excuses. Stop thinking useless thoughts. Your true self is worth being.

In school we had to read a poem called “The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me” by Delmore Schwartz. I think it was part of the anti-sex propaganda of the times, but it reads as a much larger condemnation of what it is to be human.

Here are a few lines:

That inescapable animal walks with me,
Has followed me since the black womb held,
Moves where I move, distorting my gesture,
A caricature, a swollen shadow,
A stupid clown of the spirit's motive,
Perplexes and affronts with his own darkness,
The secret life of belly and bone,
Opaque, too near, my private, yet unknown,

SM shrugs this bear aside. It’s work. It’s like pushing my arm up my back. When my fingers touch, it’s worth it.

Here's a link to the book:
The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sedona Method Day #8

Sedona Method defines Pride as “Wanting to maintain the status quo. Unwilling to change or move, therefore we stop others from movement so they won’t pass us up.”

Granted. I was unwilling to give up my status as a strong healthy geezer-chick. If somebody had asked, “Who wants to get hit by a car?” I would not have volunteered. I’ve spent decades maintaining, stretching, exercising this body. And yes, I was proud of my endurance, my flexibility, my health.

But I don’t see what’s wrong with that. The other emotions I’ve dealt with in this course are generally agreed to be problems. (apathy, grief, fear, lust, anger) But Pride? What’s wrong with pride in what I’ve accomplished?

Some of the phrases and words that Sedona Method uses to describe Pride are:
above reproach, bigoted, clever, cool, critical, isolated, judgmental, opinionated, self-absorbed, self-satisfied, special, stubborn, uncompromising.

Okay, I do see some problems here. But I’m good at what I do. People pay me to be critical of their work. People pay me to develop clever solutions. And yes, I consider myself and the people I care about to be special. According to Sedona Method, I’m supposed to welcome these feelings and then let them go.

I don’t have the strong flexible healthy body any more. I didn’t let it go. It was taken from me by that reckless driver. Apparently what I need to let go of is the pride I had in it. It would be so easy, if it were my car that got hit. I’m not emotionally attached to a car. Alright – that’s not quite true. When we bought our first new car, the first place I drove it, somebody with a white truck fendered my parked car and left white paint smudges on my lovely new turquoise car.

I found that driver and I asked, “How do you suggest I get that white paint off my car?” The driver told me that since I had a new plastic car, I should get the special polish made for plastic cars and the white paint would come right off. I bought a bottle within days, and yes, it got that white paint off. My new car was no longer smudged. And I was proud of that. After a few years and a lot more parking and even active fender benders, I stopped caring. But I have been proud of a car. Not as proud as I was of my body.

Yes, it’s illogical to be proud of the body I don’t have any more. But I think Sedona Method, which I’m tempted to call SM, except that I’ve already got people accusing me of sado-masochism for doing this, wants more from me. More of a change in core attitude.

Looking at the list, I admit to being judgmental. I often think people who disagree with me aren’t thinking straight. When I told my neighbor how my helmet saved my life, and she said she still doesn’t want to wear her helmet, I thought she was making a huge mistake. I still do. But, in keeping with this course, it is her mistake to make, if it is a mistake. I don’t know the future. Maybe nobody will ever hit her. She is enjoying the wind in her hair. And maybe there’s no reason she shouldn’t. I bought myself a new helmet with a jaw protector because one of the most painful results of my accident was my fractured jaw. I also bought a protective helmet for my husband, the alien. I never want him to have a fractured jaw. And he was willing to wear the heavier clunkier helmet. He’s special. There I go again thinking in ways SM calls Pride.

My family and friends are special to me. I guess SM would ideally have me think equally about everybody. I don’t know how to wrap my head around that.

Let me go back to the beginning: “Wanting to maintain the status quo.” Now there’s an aspect of Pride I can work on. I can see where getting upset because my body is damaged isn’t useful. I can see where getting upset when people are angry with me isn’t sensible. Any emotional reaction to changes that are out of my control won’t help the situation. The sooner I can let go of the emotions, the sooner I can do something to make myself more comfortable. This seems to be the core of Sedona Method, in yet another guise.

Here's a link to the book:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sedona Method Day #7

This is the broken clavicle. It's the left clavicle, you see it on the right.

This is the broken clavicle with hardware. They took two views of it. You can see the screws going through the bone in the rightmost picture. They tell me this is not enough metal to trigger an alarm at the airport.

My PT wanted to see these so he'd know what he was dealing with. Finally, two months after the accident, I'm getting strengthening exercises. My new PT told me to stop using the gray rubber band that my first PT gave me at our first session. New PT gave me yellow, red and green rubber bands. And he's a wizard. When I had the gray band, it took me a lot of experimenting to figure out how to hold it without aggravating the arthritis in my fingers. New PT tied loops on the ends of the bands. One loop goes on a doorknob. (I put it on the far side of the knob, so when the door is closed, and I pull on the band, I'm pulling the door shut.) The other loop goes around the palm of my hand. That's easy to adjust to avoid pain.

Then there are only three exercises. None of them are hard. Two involve rotating the arm from the elbow while pulling on the band. The third involves pulling on the band with my elbow bent as if using a saw. As they said in my French class eons ago, "Pas a pas, on vas loin," or "step by step one goes far." I'd rather he gave me exercises with my dumbbells, but I've got Tamilee Webb for that. According to the handout sheet he gave me, the gray one is the hardest. Of course the handout sheet calls it silver.

Meanwhile, the swelling in my shoulder is coming down and I have more range of motion. I put on my Qigong DVD. My shoulder snaps and crackles when I move, but I can do many of these exercises.

And I'm continuing to do the Sedona Method experiment.

Today is about Anger. Anger is the reason I decided to try the Sedona Method.

According to Sedona Method, we express anger when we strike out to hurt or stop others, but with hesitation. The actions we take are mostly destructive to ourselves and those around us.
Guy Finley (www.guyfinley.com) says that before you hit somebody else, you always hit yourself, first.

No wonder it hurts to feel angry. I feel tightness in my shoulders, thighs and chest when I think about how the universe (and certain people in it) have treated me ill. I’m defending myself against blows that I am delivering. Angry thoughts cause physical pain. My broken collar bone and my physical therapy ouch-ercises already create more pain than I’m comfortable with. I’m ready to do just about anything (aside from taking drugs) to get comfortable again.

Words that Sedona Method uses to describe anger include:

argumentative, aggressive, belligerent, defiant, demanding, disgust, frustrated, furious, impatient, indignant, irate, jealous, outraged, mad, pushy, rebellious, resentment, stubborn, vengeful, wilful.

The anger emotion is much harder for me to let go of than the earlier ones. I’m right! They shouldn’t have done that to me! That driver should have known better than to smash into me. I was in the bike lane. The hospital staff should know better than to show me somebody else’s x-ray to get me to agree to surgery. But the fact is that if they knew better, they probably wouldn’t have done what they did. And the other fact is that I’m the only one who suffers when I get angry. My shoulders, my thighs, my chest get tight. The reckless driver and the hospital staff go on about their lives no matter what I’m thinking. My being angry can’t change the past. It only makes my Now more uncomfortable.

I can do what needs to be done – contact the software company that allows people to view x-rays on computers and ask them to add code that displays the corner with the person’s name at all times, so it will be obvious whose x-ray is on the screen. I wrote the president of the hospital. I hired a lawyer to make sure the driver’s insurance pays as much as possible of my medical bills. These actions do not require anger. In fact, they require clear thinking.

Would I let the anger go?

The chemicals that run around in my system when I’m angry are painful. I do want to be rid of them. It’s hard to give up on my emotional claim of being right. But that seems to be a big part of letting go of the anger. It’s back to the same process that works with the earlier emotions – I’m okay right now. I’m only angry when I think about things that happened in the past or might happen in the future. I can choose what I think about. And I can act to improve the future without being angry. If that means giving up on thoughts about how I’m Right, then I have to learn to do that. Being right doesn’t matter in the real scheme of things. Being right didn’t prevent the accident. Being right has never won an argument. Being right is just a thought. And if it’s not a thought that will help me heal, I need to learn to live without it.

Here's the Sedona Method book:



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sedona Method Day #6

Sedona Method defines Lust as wanting something that we feel we cannot or should not have. Lust thoughts are thoughts about what we do not have, but hunger for. We may reach for these things. We may fantasize about these things. We may enjoy these fantasies. Lust is not totally unpleasant like apathy, grief, and fear. But the built-in sense of NO, ruins it.

Some of the words that the book uses to describe lust are:
anticipation, can’t wait, craving, demanding, driven, envy, frenzy, hoarding, hunger, I want, impatient, lascivious, lecherous, miserly, must have it, never enough, never satisfied, reckless, selfish, voracious.

I want my life back. I do crave that body I had on July 6, 2009 before I got hit by a car. And I know I can’t have it. My physical therapist says that fracture patients are the worst because one second they were fine and then the next second they weren’t. I am impatient for that bone to grow back together. I am impatient to take charge of my own life again. But these thoughts, these emotions don’t accomplish anything useful. I’ll even admit to craving the body I had when I was 50, or 30. At that point the whole thing is obviously impossible. And that’s the point of examining my thinking.

I’d probably be happier if I thought it was fun to ask people to do things for me than to hesitate and feel like I’m creating an imposition.

This idea opens doors. I’m a responsibility freak and I’m not getting any fun out of that attitude.

As usual, the book asks me to welcome my feelings of lust. The idea that I should not have help. I should not have willing partners. The whole attitude makes no sense. I help other people. And people help me. The only thing standing in my way is my thoughts. The more I allow them, the more illogical they seem. But they made sense until I examined them.

Yes, I want to heal. That’s why I’m doing the exercises in this book. It looks like healing means changing the way I think. There is no thought that will speed the healing of my body. There is no thought that will make the laundry do itself. I have to ask for help. I have to wait for the bus, for the mail, for the library to get a book I’ve ordered. I have to wait for my body to heal. The only choice I have here is the thoughts I think.

I can make this situation more bearable by changing those thoughts.
Would I let the lust thoughts go? My inner responsibility freak self says NEVER, but that’s not a sane answer, and my inner responsibility self wants to be sane.

Here's a link to the book:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sedona Method Day #5

Several people have written me that Sedona Method looks like a form of self-torture. I’ve dealt with grief and anger many times in my life – each time I felt clobbered – and I thrashed around looking for a way out of the dark slippery pit. It takes months. Having Sedona Method is like having a bar of soap to wash my slimy hands and a rope ladder dangling along the wall. The rope may cut into my hands and feet a bit, but it gets me up and out more quickly.

I switched physical therapists because I wasn’t making progress. I call my new exercises ouch-ercises, but I’m gaining range of motion with my left arm. I don’t enjoy pain. But if there is pain along the path to progress, then I’ll endure it.

The next emotion Sedona Method explores is Fear.
Fear of getting hurt, no matter what we try.
Words and phrases the book uses to describe fear include:
apprehensive, cautious defensive, distrust, embarrassed, nervous, scared, shaky, shy, terrified, trapped, vulnerable, wary and worry.

I rode my bike to the gym today. My husband, the alien, carried it downstairs for me. He rode with me. He swam with me. He rode home with me. He carried the bike upstairs for me into our living room when we got home. He thinks I need protecting. That’s sweet of him. But at the same time, I want my independence.

I looked everywhere for cars. Even when I didn’t see any nearby, sometimes they came close enough to cut me off as I went through intersections. One nearly crowded my husband into a parked car. I don’t want to wind up in the hospital again – either as the one being treated, or as a visitor. I know being afraid of an accident has no impact on the likelihood of an accident occurring. So what? Fear is not logical!

Again, the book says to welcome the feeling of fear as best I can. I allow my body to shake, my muscles to tense, my heart rate to increase. It feels like an old habit. It’s the fight-or-flight response gone into disconnect. There is no one to fight. No place to run. I’ve got the energy for either, and the only place to expend it is attacking my own body. That does not satisfy me in any way.

Can I let it go? I feel like my body has become one of those popper push toys where the colored balls keep bouncing against the clear plastic dome. The supply of colored balls feels infinite. It is a real question – can I let them all go? Will there ever be an end to them? It was so easy to fill up with them. Pop pop pop. Why does it take so long to let them out? Deep breaths. Soak in a bath tub of hot salty water.. This is an experiment. I did not lose my temper. I knew it was an experiment. I willed this on myself.






Toddlerz Push Toy - Corn Popper


This is what I do to myself when I am frightened. The earlier I catch myself the easier it will be to let the popper balls out. What I really need is a new way to think about things so the popper balls don’t attack.