Monday, November 30, 2009

Building A Building

How's everyone doing? Good, great, glad to hear it.

I saw one of my friends was despondent last night. I thought about saying something encouraging. But then didn't want to get "involved."

You have to know when to come to someone's aid and when not to. I have a surefire method, called "When the time comes...guess."

Could I be the first person in the history of the world to liken personal growth to building a building? I think I probably am.

At some level, it seems obvious. So it's strange that no one's ever thought of it. But I guess that's why I was born, to think of it.

So my purpose in life has now been fulfilled. Hurray for me!

Listen to this: "Brick by brick, the foundation is layed." Laid? Lain? Lay?

Anyway, there's a foundation, comprised of bricks. One brick set next to another, then bricks set on top of those.

And so forth and so on, until it's as tall as a tower. A big huge, a big honking huge tower, towering over the whole land.

And that's enough. I also have a brick shell and I'm going to crawl back into it. Good night and may all your dreams be at night.

Working On The Building

I'm busy working on the building.

That is, patiently and diligently doing the construction work needed on the building.

The building has its foundation, which needs to be carefully planned and put into place.

Then it's a matter of building on the foundation, which to a large extent, of course, is determinative of what I'm going to end up with.

How I build and what I build with are both critical.

I will seek to exercise the utmost care and concern not only with the process of building but with my idea of what the outcome should be.

Toward the end: windows, drywall, fixtures, outlets, wallpaper, and all the fixins' will give it a fabulous air of refinement and dignity.

Then I will be able to welcome in guests, visitors, and people on tour, to tour it and take away ideas and inspiration for their own place.

Brick Upon Brick

Brick upon brick, I'm building on the foundation of a pretty terrific life. Always adding to my already wonderful start.

Putting them square, checking it with a plumb line, a perfect cupful of mortar carefully and evenly layered between each one.

This foundation and the eventually imposing edifice must weather all storms throughout time and remain standing come what may.

I check the blueprints, the various doctrines of proper building, then go about my work.

Things go along, walls rise, outer and inner as one. The outer I refine for appearances. The inner I refine for satisfaction. Big weight-bearing beams are anchored where they belong.

Drywall, wallpaper, outlets, fixtures, switches, and windows are in place.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November's A Mess

November is looking bad for the Grandma Slump blog. October was a big month. I was going great guns, blazing hot. November ... not so much.

I don't know why exactly. Maybe it has nothing to do with November. Just the biorhythms swing hit then and it could've been any other time.

But if you think about November, it's right next to a biggie, December, which has Christmas. And Christmas planning has encroached on November. We had our Christmas tree(s) up before Thanksgiving. So November sits there, inferior, holding forth with its one little day, Thanksgiving, and is known for bad leftovers 24 hours later. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

On the other side of November, the front side, we have Halloween, which makes everyone start off November going, "That's over with ... I don't want anything till Thanksgiving now." Unless you consider Veteran's Day something. It's not a holiday with anything fun associated with it. Just commemorating veterans, who are definitely worthy of course, but it makes for a boring holiday.

But I don't think my personal problems here have anything to do with the rhythm or lack of rhythm of holidays, or that there's anything intrinsically wrong with November. I just overdid it in October is all, then thought I could keep up the same pace in November. Of course I knew better. I heard the rumblings all along.

Maybe December will be better. At this point, I've pulled away. So if I have the good sense to stay semi-detached, everyone will have a happier experience.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Subconscious Feelings Are Bad

Life is one big blacklist you never get off of.

They look at you with an evil eye and you can't help but feel subconscious.

I'm subconscious about my weight, my hair, my bad teeth, and my damaged car.

They tell you don't worry about it. Which is just another trick to keep you in your place.

Anyway, I shouldn't say anything more about it. I've said enough.

Even my terrible subconsciousness is stifling me HERE.

Very Few People More Subconscious Than Me

This is going to be an amazing confession. Maybe not so amazing, really, if you've read everything else I've written here. But since there aren't any except me who've done that, I'll just confess to it right up front: I'm probably the most subconscious person you'll ever know.

I don't know what the problem is. It's obviously something from childhood. I remember being very subconscious in school, like I thought everyone was looking at me. I would have a hard time getting up and speaking in front of people, that's how subconscious I was.

So much for childhood.

In my teen years things just got worse. Of course a teenage boy is unusually clumsy and uncoordinated. But it's very pronounced when you add to it a high level of subconsciousness. When you think everyone's looking at you, noticing your every move, your every quirk, the whole thing.

And these things are objective facts, too, not just your imagination. You start getting pimples, bad skin, hair growing in different places, your voice is changing. It's really enough to make anyone feel subconscious, but for me, being prone to it forever, it was so much worse.

Next thing you know kids are pairing off, this guy's dating that girl, this guy's dating that other girl, etc., and some of us haven't quite got a clue yet what's going on, how we fit in. Anyway, you see them together, hanging all over each other, and there you stand very much alone, I was always very subconscious about that too. Like, Here I stand, what's wrong with me?

The whole thing goes on. Life gets easier when you're not a teenager. But still you know it's all just a front. Because people are the same creeps when they're adults as they were as kids. Only now they're talking about you behind your back, or at the country club. And you're on about a million blacklists. Life is one big blacklist you never get off of.

I see anyone and I seem to think I know what they're thinking. And subconsciousness gets the best of me once again!

Knowing this as I do, it's tough to leave the house. I see people, people see me, and I can't help feeling very subconscious. It's enough to make me want to scream.

Friday, November 27, 2009

La Boheme

I listened to the whole opera "La Boheme" yesterday.

It's not extremely long, just two CDs, but still it's something sustained and of course it can be tough to sit there that long for one thing. I listened to it in two parts, with a lunch break in the middle.

I already had one copy of this on CD. I might have an LP set somewhere too but I haven't seen it for ages. My previous CD version, I got in the late '80s. It's infamous in my mind for one unfortunate fact, that several of the libretto pages are blank! They never saw a printing press. That's real helpful!

I was at a thrift shop and saw another version a few days ago and got it. So I sat and listened to it yesterday.

It's an enjoyable work. I seemed to get more out of it yesterday than I did in the '80s. Or in the limited listens to it I've had since then. I was very into it yesterday, going along with the book since I don't know Italian. But there's places where it's very easy to lose your place and about impossible to keep up with the text. Like when everyone in the cafe/club scene and singing all at once.

I was tracking along with Rodolfo and Mimi pretty well and their bittersweet love. It's very touching how Musetta gets involved and turns out to be such a good person. And the others. I had a few tears in my eyes then when Mimi died. That's a painful moment but powerful.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving tweet:

On this beautiful Thanksgiving day, I'm most thankful that my enemies have either been completely destroyed or seriously neutralized.

Seriously neutralized! Seriously, I don't have any enemies. Not this week anyway. Who knows, some might flare up next week. But as for this week and today the world is at blissful rest.

We endured a turkey today. Turkey is one of those meats that sounds better in theory than it turns out to be in practice. It's never quite as good as you think it should be. It has a weird stringiness, striations both in the white meat and the dark. The drumsticks seem like they have odd additions, unlike chicken legs. I think if you weren't really picky and careful you could easily die eating a turkey drumstick.

Then there's the unpleasant leftovers. I haven't had any yet. I'm thinking about going and having a slice. Because hope springs eternal. I hope it will be good even though I know at some level it won't be.

And finally, what's worse than the tiredness you get after eating turkey? We've all heard it by now, so maybe it's psychological. But they say it's in the meat. I don't remember getting tired as a kid after eating it. But when you're a kid you have a lot of natural bounce in your step that you lose later. So we were down for a very necessary nap. I even gave the dog a little bowl of turkey, and she, like always, also took a nap.

I'm thankful Thanksgiving only comes once a year.

It's Turkey Graduation Day

This is the day that every turkey looks forward to.

It's a whole year or two of eating and getting fattened up. They put themselves through the paces, jumping rope normally and in that confusing crossed way that dedicated athletes do, absorbing the pain of the moment for the gratifying joy of finally accomplishing their course. This is it.

Turkeys know they're put on this earth for one thing and one thing only, to be the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal for human beings. That's what they learn when they're small and what they keep in mind all along the way.

It's a great goal, of course, but none of it's easy. Of which I don't want to say much, except to say turkeys have challenges like the rest of us. There's a whole pecking order, some overcrowding, a lack of privacy, and all your friends are turkeys. But no matter how hard it is, all of them -- the good ones, that is -- grin and bear it, put their head down and charge through, onward and upward, toward the finish line.

They say that all of us, as our final moments are coming, are granted a glimpse of the afterlife, meant to assure us that life is good and that a beneficent Creator is looking out for us. That also applies to turkeys, who, it is reported, are given a glimpse in dreams of the Thanksgiving table they will adorn. Isn't that great? It's a very satisfying thought. I like it. And I like an additional thought along those same lines. That is, that the turkey, its spirit looking from above, gets to witness the complete satisfaction of the family gathered around the table. It's so good!

A turkey goes from being a small fry, ten to a handful, all the way up to the enormous 18 pound (on average) bird that covers your best platter. They're destined for it, and they're happy to do it. This is their joy, their glory. This is their graduation day.

May each turkey who's come this far graduate with only the highest honors!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quiescence The Natural Corollary

I over exerted myself to the point that I provoked a corollary attack within my system, involuntary quiescence.

My system works that way -- it's no big mystery and I saw it coming.

Hence my inactivity at the present time. But let the cycles come around again and I'll surely be back.

I'm trying to post a "scarlet thread" type of thing occasionally, like this, because I'll know my future self will severely regret it if I don't.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Clicked The Button

And here I am. I was resolved not to do it. Let it die in peace. Why kick the corpse?

But who knows? My cycles will surely come around again -- it about has to happen, even as far fetched as it seems right this minute -- then I'll be happy to know that I kept a scarlet thread running, keeping up at least a pulse along the way in these dog days.

But what if the dog days of oblivion go on forever? That can't happen. At some point I'll know just like I know everything else. I could sit -- I believe I could -- sit and stew over it in some religious way and know. Whether I love it or not isn't really in question. Whether it's worth showing my love by actually doing it, that's the critical thing.

I have my Grandma Slump picture in a frame on my shelf, looking over me in its unchanging way. She's not going away. Someday when I'm 85 and in a nursing home I'll have her picture there to remind me of when I was no longer young but not quite 85. Then I'll be removed from the whole scene and these days will be forgotten.

OK, we're drifting out of here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Didn't I Write About Oblivion?

I thought I did. I guess I wrote a tweet, that was it.

It was this:

I can barely report anything because the oblivion is so thick around me.

That's true. I have very very thick oblivion all around me. Making it so I can barely even speak. My mouth is hushed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Inexorable Slide Toward Oblivion

This blog is like Balloon Boy's balloon with me aboard. It seems to be drifting ever closer to the ground, to a crash landing, perhaps a soft crash.

I've gone from worrying about it to not worrying about it. Bright new vistas have opened to me on other fronts, mostly involving reading. In the last couple of months, with focused diligence, I've learned to read. And so I've been exercising that new skill, becoming stronger all the time.

Looking back on some of my entries on this blog, I've been surprised to read them and see what it was I wrote. To a great extent, I've been amused. But, like Frank Sinatra not listening to his own records, it's not that interesting to read your own writing.

So this could be it. It could be. I'm not saying it is. My biorhythms could kick into gear at any time. It really could happen. Otherwise I'm seeing this as an inexorable slide toward oblivion.

Of course it has to come at some time. I won't be 85 in a nursing home doing this. So at some point I'll be outta here.

I'm thinking about challenging the biorhythms by reminiscing. And I just might. With a series called "If This Is It, We'll Always Have..." And then something from the last however-long-it's been that we'll always have.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Still Able to Sit Up And Take Nourishment

I went out to eat tonight with some folks.

I'm feeling dead tired. But I was able to sit there and take nourishment. Once the food finally showed up. We had some slow service.

Whatever the conversation, I wasn't interested, being tired. So I'm staring straight ahead and thinking of smart aleck comments that I could've made but didn't.

Then finally, munch munch, look at the clock, listen to the conversation, stare at things.

I noticed the restaurant had some books on a shelf. But they were old Reader's Digest condensed novels, the cockroach of books. So I'm confronted by cockroach books, wishing the restaurant might've been classier.

The day is coming to a conclusion. A few exercises, watch some Three Stooges, take the dog out, and I'll be about ready for bed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Next Up: My Own Salt Lick

I might be about half cow, as much salt as it seems like I eat.

I realize salt isn't entirely good for you. But I like it on lots of different foods. Including pork chops, which I had a couple times today, with salt. And a grapefruit, which isn't complete till it's been well salted.

Then some salt ends up on the edge of the plate and of course it needs to be consumed too.

So I'm sitting here tasting a mouth that's very salty. Not salty language, since I don't allow anything blue on my site. Just the little white sprinklies that come in a shaker. They're very good.

Why do cattle like (or need) salt? I do no know. It must be something that aids their digestion, since there's no way farmers give cattle salt just for the taste of it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Your Entertainment

Lambertmania sweeps America. I just hope he can keep up with Boylemania, as in Susan Boyle.

I would hate to see Adam Lambert upstaged by the one-song genius from England. Of course by now she has more songs, having an entire CD coming out.

Adam Lambert deserves a spot on the top of the chart for maybe two years straight, then someone else can go up. Only to be knocked off by his second album. So he'll be Number One perpetually from now until he's a senile old man in the nursing home going, "I used to be somebody."

I ordered the deluxe version of the CD. I hope it was worth it because it was quite a bit plus $4.99 postage. Ouch. One bright side, I got three immediate downloads. I don't know if they're all non-CD tracks. I know "For Your Entertainment" is on the CD, since it's the title track. So I'm listening to those tracks. "FYE" as mentioned, "Whataya Want From Me?" and "Master Plan." They're future favorites of mine after I become familiar with them. I heard "FYE" the other day on a streaming thing. And I understand the CD is streaming on MySpace somewhere.

Now, to see if the CD comes right away. It's from Adam's official site, so hopefully they know something about mailing stuff right away.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Better Balance In My Life

Is this the end?

Have I come to a dead end or a turning point?

I feel like I need a better balance in my life.

But which is which? Is the angel trying to help me? That'd make sense. "Look out for yourself. Read more. Meditate." But maybe it's the other guy, in red. And it has been enjoyable to a certain extent. "You're driven to share your substantially immense talents with the world."

But everything comes to an end eventually, of course. We're forbidden by death, let's say, from gardening in the spring after we've met our demise. At that point the only gardening you're doing is pushing up daisies.

So it's now or later.

I could cut back. Get rid of the whole Twitter component of my day. Which frankly hasn't added much to my life. It's kind of like being friends with the wall. You get about as much out of it.

It's definitely something I'm looking at.

Or, who knows. I could continue to do something in a low key way, like a burst every now and then. Whether anyone cares or not, who cares? At least I'm amused, and that's what really counts.

I'm listening to these two voices. "Better balance" and "Go for broke."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Land Beyond Concept -- Don't Think About It


I ate some chocolate without eating it. It goes around and melts in your mouth.

Still, somehow it finds its way, through gravity and a lack of other options, out of my mouth to my belly.

From there, it's a matter of whatever consciousness takes over after I've had the pleasure of taste.

In that consciousness, still rooted in something very physical but taking over without apparent will, the process goes on.

It's an illustration -- like everything is, actually -- of the Land Beyond Concept.

I think I've love to visit the Land Beyond Concept. But of course that's where we all live anyway.

It's just that we stack up concepts all around it, like a big wooden fort in the old westerns.

I'm standing here, like corn inside the husk, or a banana inside the peel, like the maize queen on a brand of corn meal.

Strip off the husk, pull the peel down, get the carton out of the way, and what remains is the essential thing in itself.

Then get to the heart of that -- the inner heart -- and arrive at the Land Beyond Concept.

Now we can wander and frolic, whichever, and know all things without having to think about it.

The Land Beyond Concept

Come on in. The water's fine. The air's nice and rare. It's a nice place to be. The Land Beyond Concept.

We're off to a wonderful start, already here together, where we can see everything without looking.

Everything that can be said we already know. Agreement and disagreement don't get in the way of the truth. We put our head down, snort a bit, and charge forward full bore.

The circle's a fictional boundary to give us inklings of what's going on. We have the full vast, or the small vast, or just the vast, or just the small in which to range. But all of our ranging is done before it starts, and everyone's happy enough.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hanging On My Every Word

To think of everyone "hanging on my every word" is a great honor. Thank you.

But it's also something that fills me with dread, to think of all the responsibility, to think I have to fulfill all those expectations.

It's tough to jump on cue, tough to perform when there are so many varied expectations. I don't know which way to go.

For a while I can handle it. I put something out here. Say a few things and hope for the best. It helps if I'm feeling creative.

But then, as life normally goes, my creative spark goes out, my creative juices dry up, and I'm left floundering.

Then I'm thinking of what I can't go, plus the expectations everyone has, plus my own expectations of myself to fulfill the demand.

Obviously at some point you start thinking it can't go on that way forever. And it can't. Something got to give.

But don't give up on me. All is not lost. I have ideas.

The basic way to deal with this is to break out of a particular cycle, and start in on something lower key, but still with integrity.

Just say something different. Anything. Give them something. Throw out some red meat.

Then you're looking for a groove, trying to find a groove.

You don't want to give up what you're known for. That's still your bread and butter, but you're expanding your repertoire, as it were.

So, anyway, thanks again. I appreciate it, no matter if there come those times I have to shrink back and regroup.

You're still all all right with me, and let's keep it that way.

You keep "hanging on my every word" and I'll keep on trying to do my best. That's an agreement you can believe.


My Morning Moxie On The Ball


I'm about drifting off. Thinking how tired, how tired... Then I remember, I'm up, I need to be at 'em. There'll be time for sleeping later.

Being "up and at 'em" means having a certain level of attitude -- confidence, pride, self-esteem, and trust.

But such qualities are sometimes nebulous, tough to understand fully and conceptualize.

I try to think of it in terms of themes, phrases that I can think of through the course of a day, to remind myself of my aims and abilities.

Today -- Moxie on the Ball. The terms "moxie" and "ball," I don't know what they mean in the dictionary sense. But I know them psychically.

You have "moxie" and it means something like creative potential, inner strength and purpose pumped out of some innerterranean well.

And "on the ball" means being alert to it, aware of what your potential is in relation to the moxie. My mom used to say "Get on the ball!"

Get with it. Get with the plan. Get with the program. Put your creativity to the test, go through life with the confidence you need.

So today I'll be off doing many things -- some things I can predict, some I can't. For all things, I will depend on my Moxie on the Ball.

So can you!

Moxie On The Ball

Now that's what I call Moxie on the Ball!

Which, incidentally, I have in profound abundance.

Sixty seconds ago I didn't have it, or didn't think I did. There's so many other activities a guy can go do. Why sit here and tire out my tired little mind trying to develop the concept of Moxie on the Ball? After all, I know it ... and isn't that what's important? It's the selfish approach.

But then, you know -- altruism, one's own sense of security in his moxieness -- it's not going to kill me to sketch out a little something. And it might even do me some good; even though I basically have everything I need, a supplemental wouldn't hurt, like one for the road, so my day will go as well as it can. One more, one more, one more.

The only thing that would give me more Moxie on the Ball would be to have another hour of sleep every night. Because moxie for me partially has to do with being well rested. I had a busy day yesterday -- was up early, then to bed a little later than I should've been, and, worst of all, there was no nap. A nap is great for moxie. So put it together: up early, bed late, no nap ... of course I would be better off this morning if it'd had one.

But, even with with this disadvantage, and even though I'm feeling lethargic -- I got up and had a hard time focusing on my reading -- there's still enough (I believe) Moxie on the Ball to put in a decent effort toward life today and see success.

One thing that would take away my possibilities would be to dwell too long on the lack of sleep. Because dwelling on it chips away at the confidence I already have. Meaning, if I mourn what I don't have I'll lose what I do have, meaning I'll have more to mourn about as that goes, then what remains after that will be chipped away, and so on and so on until I'm dried up in a corner.

Instead, what level of confidence I have, I need to keep that and add to it. And I do have confidence. Especially as time ticks on and I'm in various social settings. It's there that I have to have it, so I do. The confidence, the creativity, the ability to roll with the punches, to go with the flow, to get done what needs to get done, to surprise myself occasionally -- it's all Moxie on the Ball that wins the day.

How do you get Moxie on the Ball if you haven't got it? You probably already do have it. I haven't met anyone who wanted Moxie on the Ball who didn't already have it, perhaps in a hidden form. If you don't want it, you haven't got it. If you want it -- you're your own genie in the bottle to grant your wish. You have the wish within you.

So you grant your own wish, for Moxie on the Ball. Then you step forward with a consciousness that says you will succeed, you will have confidence, you will have creativity, you do know how to put the pieces together -- socially, artistically, spiritually, any old way -- and to do so in a way that gets it accomplished and is a blessing to your life and others.

Use your Moxie on the Ball today and have the best life. And use your powers for good.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Down For The Count -- Not


I thought I was "Down For The Count," since I was feeling low, down, full of remorse and empty.

So I made serious preparations to examine my personal status, what it meant to be Down For The Count.

And that really is the way it seemed -- there was no hope. The more I thought about it, the emptier I felt.

But then something weird happened. As soon as I started putting effort into describing being Down For The Count, it all switched around.

Just like that -- in a matter of seconds of this reflection -- instead of being Down For The Count, I'm up with new ideas, total renewal.

So I don't know why I had the conviction that I was Down For The Count. It's just another case of what we allow. We think it and it happens.

Anyway, praise be. I'm back and feeling pretty good.

But I'm going to save my next big confidence, self-esteem, Drive-for-Pride push till tomorrow.

And I'll hope that the renewed conviction I have today will still be with me tomorrow. Send good thoughts in my general direction.

Yes, yes, yes. Everything will turn out well. There's no necessary downturn. I'm not Down For The Count. I'm back up and at 'em, doing well!

I'm swinging, it's happening, I'm with it. My motor's runnin' again. There's nothing a little thought can't cure. Take it to the bank!

Down For The Count

Somehow in the last few days I lost most of my psychological moxie.

I had moxie on the ball there for a quite a while. I was on a sweet roll. From one peak to another, then a plateau here and there, then I was wishing I had a plateau, being on a slope, a slope inexorably leading me toward a valley.

I'm going to try getting back my moxie ... tomorrow. I'm going to dream about it, at least think about it before going to bed, and I hope by tomorrow I'll be able to have that as a theme for continuing personal victory. Funny how these things work. By cracky, I believe it can be done! In fact I'm already feeling more optimistic! Funny!

But let me stew in my dismal juices -- or at least pretend to -- for the remainder of this post. That's the way I started it and it seems like it's too soon to shift gears and experience myself back on the upward march. I really believe I could do it. But I'm down, down, down, you see, and not likely to get back up (I wasn't at the beginning). I am, as they say in the sport of boxing, Down For The Count.

What got me down? I really believe there's a kind of cycle that happens with us. That we do go from those top of the world peak experiences in this cycle toward a downward trough. Like a wave, something like a wave. I'm definitely one for being hot toward a certain pursuit, then a couple weeks later cold, colder.

But I still have aims, goals, and desires in mind. I'm just waiting for that creative spark. I only need one little glimpse of it to grab the whole thing. So that's nice. But sometimes those glimpses are hard to get. You just have to think, When I need it -- really need it -- it will be there!

I like the thought today of Moxie On The Ball -- a lot more than being Down For The Count. I'll have to stew on that overnight and maybe that will be my next victorious theme. It's something to hope for. Think about me overnight, if you haven't got anything else to worry about. If you just think good thoughts in my general direction, toward your computer, I will feel that and it will add strength to me and my resolve. Let me thank you in advance.

Am I really, then, down for the count. Well, I was. But it seems like I've gotten up. I think I'm up now. So they can stop the count.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fits And Starts, Peaks And Plateaus


I started the day thinking about "Peaks and Plateaus, Fits and Starts," although it didn't become a consuming theme for me by any means.

But it's definitely something to think about ... and we probably all do in our own way.

We have those experiences (spiritual, social, personal) that are peak experiences, then things level off. It's like biorhythms.

Peaks and plateaus.

Fits and Starts is a phrase I used to hear. It's one that I know what it means even though I don't know the word origins.

Maybe "fits" is from "doing something." I'm not going to look it up. But it seems like fait, faire, all that is rooted in there somewhere.

I have all kinds of fits. I was thinking of Fits and Starts like when you're trying to start a car that's reluctant to go.

The Fits would be all the preliminary almost-getting-there, false starts, first attempts, aiming at it, trying to get going and do it.

The Starts would be almost like the Fits except with a little more motive power behind them. Like when you're on your way.

If there's some other definition to it, I'd be curious (without having to take five seconds to look it up.)

It seems like the phrase was always used in a way that suggested there wasn't a lot of progress. "He went about it in fits and starts."

Fits and Starts describes a lot of my life, I guess I could admit. About a mile wide and an inch deep in a little bit of everything.

So Peaks and Plateaus goes with that too -- maybe Peaks and Valleys would be the actual truth. But I try to stay UP THERE somewhere.

Even if it's just a plateau. At least your head's still halfway near the clouds. In the valley you have to wait till the clouds come to you.

Peaks And Plateaus, Fits And Starts

First we have morning reverie: Too-toot-tootle-toot, daa-daa-daa-daa-daa-duhh.

Following that, our retreat mantra: There will be no talking whatsoever.

Then how our progress will be made: By fits and starts.

Then how our progress will appear with reflection: As peaks and plateaus.

Blame it on the bossa biorhythms.

Peaks and plateaus, fits and starts. I can relate.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Turnin' Off The Motor

Well, it's night. And it's about time to turn off the motor. I'm already slowing down a bit, and that with the advantage of a short nap early in the afternoon.

That was a nice pit stop for my mental motorcycle, with my dog in the sidecar. She never turns down an opportunity to take a nap.

But I've been up ever since, busy doing stuff. Did some actual work. Did a bunch of reading. I had my reading glasses on. I should say my reading glass, since to balance out my actual sight with the reading glasses I broke out one of the sides.

I'm reading a book by Marie Corelli called "Ardath." I'm enjoying it for the most part. The word "Ardath" is based on a verse out of a book in the Apocrypha. The name of the book varies from edition to edition, but in the Apocrypha I have it's called 2 Esdras. In the original King James Bible, it's 2 Esdras 9:26.

In the 1611 version it says, "So I went my way into the field which is called Ardath, like as he commanded me, and there I sate amongst the flowres, and did eate of the herbes of the field, and the meate of the same satisfied me." So does that mean anything to you? It doesn't to me either.

I started reading 2 Esdras but I haven't gotten as far as chapter 9. Even if I read it, though, this much is already clear. Knowing about 2 Esdras isn't going to have any bearing on my reading of Corelli's book. It would seem she just took this verse and used it for a springboard for her overall narrative. So the verse is more or less irrelevant. (I say this having not finished her book yet. I'm maybe less than 25% in.)

I'm kind of into Marie Corelli for the time being, since I read her book "A Romance of Two Worlds" in the last few weeks. She wrote (at times) of magical mystery tour sorts of stuff, people ascending into the empyrean glories, etc. Since that happens to me on a regular basis, I can easily relate. In fact, I might have to visit Ardath and see if it might ever live up to my normal experiences. I doubt it could. It was probably overrun with tourists in the late 1880s when this book came out and ruined. If you can ruin ruins.

So, it's getting on ... the time.

Let me say I think this was a great theme, a great concept for self-esteem, self-help, confidence, and pride: "GETCHER MOTOR RUNNIN'." It's going to live in my Hall of Fame forever and I might have to revisit all the themes someday. I thought of it numerous times today, anytime I felt a little hesitant or stymied: "Getcher Motor Runnin'." And it charged me back up, my motor definitely on the run.

But now, every mental motor needs a break. It's time to shut down the old motor works for the day and get out of here. Until we meet again, may all your days be "GMR" days.

Getcher Motor Runnin' For Warmth


Have you Gotcher Motor Runnin'?

It's a fantastic way to go through your day, with Yer Motor Runnin'.

I'm definitely into it, the concept guiding my every move (when I keep it in mind). Any fear? Getcher Motor Runnin'!

Even cold hands. But this one I didn't have time to test out fully. I get cold hands sometimes in social situations. But I thought of GMR!

I HAD cold hands, but it didn't help that I'd gobbled down two hamburgers minutes before and my digestion metabolism was all screwed up.

So I only had minutes to get my hands warmed up. So I thought of "Getcher Motor Runnin'" (But like I said I didn't have time to test it.)

Do it though. Try it for yourself. Live by it and thrive. Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'! GMR! GMR!

Getcher Motor Runnin' In A Flash


RT @oschambers: All of our fears are sinful, & we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith.

What I needed to hear!

~Getcher Motor Runnin', head out on the highway, lookin' for adventure in whatever comes my way~ Yessssss! That's the way to live!

Live with Yer Motor Runnin' ... If you ain't Gotcher Motor Runnin', then Getcher Motor Runnin'!

~Yeah, darlin', gonna make it happen, get the world in a love embrace!~ Can there be any better attitude?

It's like this, the world's either got ME in a headlock or I got IT in a love embrace. Which would I rather have? Ha ha.

I've Gotmy Motor Runnin', but I didn't have before. It took something, not a lot of doing, but a FLASH. We're mental FLASH drives!

You can sit and stew all day.... "O Lord, help little ole me".... all day .... and nothing. It's almost worthless.

Then you're up against the wall and you look for one thing that connects with what you already have within you. That only takes a flash.

Suddenly, no more funk. Suddenly, the light of day has come. Don't fear. Fear is estrangement. Be confident. You are One with life. ONE.

Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'! Getcher Motor Runnin'!

Getcher Motor Runnin'

Have you Gotcher Motor Runnin'? You don't? Oh!

Well, get to it and Getcher Motor Runnin'!

I started off this day in a serious funk. And, who knows, there's going to be things today that I'm not looking forward to. But I'm either going to step through those things tentatively or I'm going to Getmy Motor Runnin' and roll with confidence.

And since what I have to look forward to can't be avoided, which would be the best course of action? Hemming, hawing, thinking, O Lord, little ole me can't get this done with any confidence, diligence, pride, purpose, and drive? Or cranking up my mental motorcycle -- varooooooooooom, putting my feet in the stirrups, my hands on the grips -- and plowing into it, or, maybe I'll jump it.

This will be done, that will be done, I will exude all the confidence a cranked up motorcycle rider has when he or she gets the trip underway.

You got the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, dead bugs on your glasses, and it's like heaven on earth, zipping around a hairpin turn, then turning off the road for a spin about halfway up a big pile of gravel at a rock quarry that you happened to see. You're up there, spinning your wheels, then when you can go no farther, you crank it a sharp left and go barreling down in some kind of suicide spin, being adept enough to survive, then back on the road, not looking back.

My funk. How did I get rid of my funk? I read one guy's tweet on Twitter. Seriously. That's all it took. Oschambers said, "All of our fears are sinful, & we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith." For me to nourish myself in my faith is just a flash of recall. And I know all about fears and the sinfulness of them. Not sinful like stealing, the "Thou shalt not do" stuff. But sinful in the ridiculous estrangement that we allow. And our forgetfulness. So we fear. And next thing you know I'm shaking in my boots. What's going to become of little ole me?

But we're not just little separate nothings, to be buffeted with every breeze. We've got it! We're One! The Temple of God!

A funk? -- That's no way for a person with dignity and worth to behave, certainly not in the long run. The way to behave is with all the confidence in the world. Getcher Motor Runnin', like the song says. "Yeah, darlin', gonna make it happen, get the world in a love embrace..."

I couldn't do it, I thought. My funk was very blahhhhh, despite my best efforts this morning. But now, I Gotmy Motor Runnin'. I'm gonna head out on the highway, lookin' for adventure in whatever comes my way!

Are you funked out today? I know exactly how it feels! It sucks!

Get up! Getcher Motor Runnin'. Change your mind, tell yourself you got it, all the confidence in the world!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today's G-Man -- Great, Great, Great


What, me worry?

Seriously, me worry?


I'm a G-Man today -- not Guns, Guts, Glory -- not Guts, Glory, Gravy from the other day -- but Great, Great, Great, those G's.

Everything about me and my (sometimes piddling) little life is going Great, Great, Great.

I don't say it to rub it in, in case someone out there is having a hard time. My full sympathies.

I know there are plenty of things that could be going badly for people that would not be their individual fault. Again, my sympathy.

Today it's my own little neck of the woods I need to be concerned with, since Who doesn't struggle from time to time?

And anyone can celebrate and be happy if things are going Great, Great, Great!

And if they're NOT going Great, Great, Great for you ... you know, do the little things you can to nudge things along. Do what can be done.

About half the success in life is simply a matter of showing up.

Then you'll be on the path -- the wonderful, sunshine path -- of things looking up, going Great, Great, Great.

Great, Great, Great

I am happy today. Feeling great, great, great.

Could be greater, but doing pretty well. I think I was mentioning somewhere I was walking with a bounce in my step yesterday. That was great, great, great, of course. Should go without saying.

I was at a public place. Sometimes I slink around, flying under the radar, looking not so great, great, great, like I have something to hide (I don't.)

Maybe it's all my confidence building teachings of the last couple of months. They've actually sunk in. They came from somewhere sunken within me, came to the fore, and now have resunk, with the result being that they sunk themselves in a better place than they were before, so I'm feeling great, great, great.

Where precisely they had sunk originally -- I don't know. I think it might be that whole teaching of Plato, that we already know everything but we just don't know we know it. We forget. So we hear something -- let's say a self-help teaching -- and it resonates with us. It's not that we didn't know it already, but we needed to resonate with it.

Personally, I don't buy self-help books. I see them lined up on the shelf and I avoid them all. We already know it, like Plato said. And of course we didn't need Plato to tell us that, since we already knew that too. And you don't need me to tell you any of this because you already know it. Which as far as I'm concerned is great, great, great, because it's just a lot of unnecessary work, for me to be thinking this, then typing it, then posting it.

Anyway, I walked with a lot of confidence. Then when I woke up today I was thinking of that in relation to worry. "What, me worry?" What good does worrying do? I think it actually does some good. It keeps you on time. It keeps you on your toes. But there's a good side and there's a wild side. You want to avoid the wild side of worry.

OK, let me just say it's all great, great, great one more time and I'll be done.

What, Me Worry?

Me already worry, about me not having picture of me with tossled hair and the tooth me lost.

Me am generally worried about many things. Me sometimes wonder why me worry. Me know it does no good -- maybe some good.

What good is it for me to worry? It helps me avoid obvious pitfalls of trouble if me foresees them.

But me gonna do what me gonna do. Except me will guide me that what me gonna do is what is gonna do me some good.

Me not worry about me good before me born, in that me remembers. And me not worry about me after me dead, that me anticipates. Me only worry about me now. Doesn't make a bit of sense to me, but old habits die hard.

Me wants to face life -- accompany life -- with joy and peace. Me can do it!

Me walking briskly yesterday. Me look like a million bucks yesterday. Kinda funny. Me walking with confident stride, me saying hello to people happily, lustily, me being kind to people me meet, then me walking back to car with the same stride. Me very amazed at mindset! Rinse and repeat.

Me wanna think faster and talk slower.

Me doing some important mental shifting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What You Believe Is Hogwash

There's always someone right there to tell you that everything you believe is hogwash.

You may be tiptoeing around them all the time, but of course there's no such compunction guiding anyone else in return. So, be it known, one and all, that no matter what you believe, it's all hogwash.

It's a great term, hogwash. You can think of hogs in their field, frolicking through the mud, taking a dip every now and then, mostly to relieve themselves of flies, an itch, or dry skin. Whether hogs scratch up against a post when they've got an itch, they probably do. Hogs are intelligent animals. But occasionally they need hosed down, so they line up next to the hose and get hosed down, like anyone would.

But what you believe. What is it? You tell me. Then I'll tell you. Whatever it is, there's a million arguments against it. What are you even bothering for?

Maybe your ancestors believed it and their ancestors and the pilgrims and the first white man to discover what others had already discovered and the Greeks and the cave man. But there's still good reasons to think otherwise. Because of this assumption, this presupposition, this doctrine, this dogma, this verse (that could be taken in more than one way), this teacher, this prejudice, etc.

You're certain, I was certain.

It actually is better -- better by far -- just to go through life with your mouth completely closed. The silent treatment. Then if someone says something you're just not comprehending. Raise your shoulders. Smile. Go about your business.

Whatever, whatever, whatever.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hercules Unchained -- A Piece Of Cake


OK, in this movie, "Hercules Unchained," he drinks some Forget'em Juice and forgets he's Hercules. So he hasn't got his strength anymore.

Isn't that wild? He has to know himself and believe in himself before he can bend a metal thing, twist bars out of shape, etc.

Fortunately he has a sidekick, Ulysses, who tries to keep him off the sauce. And it works! He starts to remember, "Hey, I am Hercules!"

It's a beautiful moment when he gets hold of the metal thing and bends it like a pretzel, more twists than Chubby Checker.

Ulysses is happy because now he knows they can get back to Penelope and the war.

And with Hercules knowing who he is -- it'll be a piece of cake.

Don't forget your inner Hercules, your essential identity as the Rock'em Sock'em robot that you really are. Spit out the sauce.

Dig down deep and remember .... What were all my powers as a kid, as a teen, as a 20-something, etc.? Why am I in a rocking chair NOW?

What am I doing sitting here looking up Grandma's doilies in a collectors' price guide? Have I forgotten my essential identity and powers?

I will unchain my inner Hercules! The powers that be will be the powers that be in me!


Peeing is not my cup of tea / But every time I have a cup / I gotta pee.

Hercules Unchained

Woo hoo! That was exciting!

I watched the movie "Hercules Unchained," from 1959, starring Steve Reeves.

At first I was watching it just for the fun of it. But pretty soon it became a project, as I saw how perfectly it all related to my "Drive for Pride" campaign and the teachings that go along with that involving personal confidence and self-esteem.

Then, with clipboard in hand, I watched the rest of it as a labor of love, hoping to inspire others to unchain their inner Hercules. It certainly worked with me -- and while I'm atypical in many ways, I'm not that atypical. I'm like other guys. I put my ancient Greek kilt on one leg at a time.

The thing that really hit me in the movie was when Hercules forgot he was Hercules. He drank some kind of memory zapping water and suddenly he was in the thrall of a lovely, but deadly, Greek lady. All her other lovers had been killed and turned into wax statues, and she had a perch with Hercules' name on it!

Hercules has a youthful sidekick, Ulysses. Ulysses knows Hercules' power, but since he forgot it, it's no longer there. He wants Hercules to try to bend a big metal thing but he can't. So he tries to keep Hercules from drinking anything that's being provided to him in this palace. Since it's all Forget'em Juice. Slowly but surely, Hercules starts to remember his identity. And after a while Ulysses brings him the metal thing and now he's able to bend it! Then before long, they escape, including the scene where Hercules pushes open a big sliding door that has deadly spikes enclosing on him.

We don't especially want to be able to bend steel in our hands. That's not my challenge. But we don't want to lose or neglect any of the powers that we have and may have forgotten. Anyone have any inkling of the powers you had as a kid? I know I could run faster, jump farther, and think clearer than lots of other kids my age and size. In a way, I just had the confidence that it could be done, but beyond that there was the sense that That's just the way it is. I didn't have a lot of prior history that told me it couldn't be done.

It's the prior history that always seems to come into play these days. You can't do it, you'll never get it done, also because That's just the way it is. You haven't managed it up till now, so you may as well give up. Even if no one says it to you, you say it to yourself. So we're settling for second or third best, maybe we're settling for nothing. And we're tipping back another jar of Forget'em Juice. And there's a perch somewhere with our name on it. Just nail him here! There's no life in the old boy anyway!

Who knows? Ulysses knows! Put down the juice. You're still Hercules inside. Let your mind and thoughts clear. Pick up the big metal thing and see if you can bend it. Then advance on to those big gnarly doors. Finally you'll be pulling over big towers with arrow-shooting soldiers screaming and dying at your feet. It'll be a great day.

Unchain the inner Hercules. Make Ulysses' day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Superspine -- A Spine Of Steel


Fellow peons, get the Superspine mentality, and stand up to the blowback. We shall prevail!

No one dares judge a concept or mentality that gives actual super powers. Because those who prevail, know.

A spine of steel is worth its weight in gold.

Superspine haters, kiss this!


It's been quite a day, prevailing as I have with the Superspine mentality. Actually, since I can't say I'm Superspine precisely, I worked at the Superspine mentality. This is a concept that emphasizes personal strength and innate abilities. It's a glorious thing.

Why the concept of the Superspine provoked so much controversy and, yes, blowback, I don't know. Unless it really does go along with my first suspicions, that the powers that be want to keep the Superspine mentality for themselves.

It's very eye-opening, whatever the reason, to at least get the sense that you've stumbled into a closely guarded secret. Because that kind of blowback is exactly what you would have to expect were the mentality in question an actual closely guarded secret.

The blowback was so fierce, so constant, that I was taken aback. But it was at those times that having even the first hints of such a mentality sustained me. Then when I got into my actual work today, it was with Superspine thoughts that I accomplished so much.

The Superspine Blowback

The Superspine blowback on Twitter today came fast and furious. Out of all the projects -- all the self-help teachings -- that I've had, this was the one that encountered the most opposition. Venomous stuff, too, not just poo-poo'ing.

I believe the "BS" word was spelled out, as though the Superspine teaching was itself suspect, not just me, the one setting it forth. That hit my mind like a ton of bricks. But lucky for me I had on my Superspine mentality, all ready to face the day. It was a godsend, giving me the strength not only to withstand the blowback but to offer a little of my own:

Superspine is looking for no arguments. Superspine knows what is truth for Superspine. When Superspine knows, Superspine knows.

That came out automatically, with great indignation. Then there was nothing more to say. All became silent.

Yes, Superspine knows. That's why he or she is called Superspine. There's no second-guessing on the part of people, popes, or pundits. They may kick and squawk, but through it all it all there's one thing we know: Superspine Stands!

Still, upon reflection, how tough it was and how utterly dependent I was in this case on the Superspine mentality. Any other day, with any other teaching, I might have crumpled right there. And I have before, so I know what it's like. But today I thought "No, I will prove the teaching is true, a psychological concept worthy of my other teachings, including 'A Hedgerow of Warring Angels,' 'Gigantic Strides,' 'All Due Diligence,' and 'Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough,' just to name a few."

The powers that be, of course they would have it otherwise. The powers that be are afraid that any of us "mere peons" would rise above our station, not just to fight back and stand, but to prevail. They would have us "Eat Cake." Their days are numbered. Because the Superspine teaching is out of the bag!

Yes, I've thought about the blowback today. But did it discourage me? No, it made me double and redouble, triple my efforts to be Superspine. Everything I've done today -- offline -- and it's been plenty -- has been with the Superspine mentality. I have done literally twice as much stuff today, so far, as I usually do.

I think of my spine of steel and no one has been able to get me down. Superspine flies over the masses and the powers that be. It's in their face ... right where it belongs!

Fellow peons, get the Superspine mentality. We shall prevail!

Superspine Knows Superspine's Truth


When you look at me you may see a mild-mannered reporter on Twitter. But today I shall reveal who I really am: SUPERSPINE!

Yes, Superspine. Combining the resiliency of a spine of steel with a mind of discipline and confidence.

I'm always keeping my self-esteem high, my confidence at peak levels, my pride overflowing. Superspine.

In the face of danger, there's no crumpling. In the face of frustration, there's a response of confidence. I'm constantly encouraged.

Against every foe, I stand tall and strong. They may lash me with a million wet noodles. I will stand there without wavering. Superspine!

If there's a battle to be waged, whether of muscle or wits, it makes not a whit of difference. Superspine will win the day, then everything.

It's true. No one is prepared to meet Superspine. We're geared up to think ourselves spineless and most others as the exact same.

Then we see there are plenty of bullies with a spine. But their power is not in their head. They can be brought down with spine AND brain.

Today, no matter what I face (and I recommend this to you, as long as you aren't in the same room as ME), Be Superspine! Stand tall.

And as Superspine ... watch the others fall ... kick butt and take names.

Superspine is looking for no arguments. Superspine knows what is truth for Superspine. When Superspine knows, Superspine knows.


Enough of the spinelessness that dominates so much of our lives!

Self-esteem, pride, and confidence demand a little backbone, maybe a whole lotta backbone.

If you haven't got one, you gotta get one. And if you do have one, keep it strong, strong enough to see you through the tough challenges of the day.

We're too used to giving up and giving in instead of standing strong. The least little thing, we're a crumpled mass on the floor. Instead, we want to be able to stand, and having done all, to still be standing.

To have a spine, as the term is used, is to be able to stand tall. We use it as an image for strength, resilience, and durability. Most of the opposition we face that has any strength of course has a spine. And a lot of the power of those with a spine depends on the rest of us being spineless. It's one of those cases where, sometimes, a spine meets a spine it doesn't know what to do!

The thing we're emphasizing here -- in the whole "Drive for Pride" campaign -- is not only to have a spine, but to have (or be) Superspine! Meaning you've got a rock solid spine that is super, but you also have that thing in your head to guide it. Because the spine bone's connected to the brain bone.

The example I gave of those with a spine having their power because they depend on the rest of us being spineless. You can find out what their spine is really made of if you keep your spine connected to your brain. That is, if you add brain to brawn.

One thing I don't like about the Superman movies is that he can have all the powers in the world and still be helpless. Why's that? Because for there to be any danger to Superman, making the conflict in the movie, they have to come up with creatures with equal power. To me that's a drag. Because what's the point of the movie being about SUPERman if everyone in town is Superman? At this point there's no reason for me to be watching the movie. I could be watching a couple of kids fighting in the living room if I wanted to watch people with the same power fighting it out. So to me that's no good. When I watch Superman, I want to see Superman prevailing every second of everyday, kicking butt and taking names.

Fortunately for us life isn't simply a matter of fighting it out. You're not going to come across Superspine everywhere you look. Meaning that you can be Superspine in your own neighborhood, office, church or synagogue or mosque, and family.

It's not really a matter of the actual spine, of course. It's a matter of what your mind does with the spine, again in that metaphorical sense. So start with the brain bone. Always start there. What's it saying to the spine? That I'm spineless, shriveling, about to crumple under the weight of my constant frustration? Or is it saying I will prevail, I will kick butt and take names, I will be the epitome of strength and confidence?

Today, I will be Superspine.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Working Up To Willpower -- Gold Stars To All!


Clearly we don't all presently have the same abilities when it comes to the exercise of willpower.

I've shared today some very basic exercises for the increasing of people's willpower, and according to my feedback, they were very helpful.

So thank you to the ones who sent notes, informing me both of your success and your ... not-yet-successful attempts.

I want each of you to give yourself a gold star, a high five, a clap on the back, and an "Attaboy" or "Attagirl."

And if you're able to do one of these things, or perhaps all four -- then more power to you! You have more willpower than you thought!

For some of the ones who had a real difficult time of it, be encouraged. Today was just the start. Try it again tomorrow.

Let's review: 1) Try to raise your right hand from a table, keep it raised a few inches up for three or four seconds, then lower it again.

2) Stand from a chair, walk around the room (or stand in one place if walking would be too much), then be seated again.

Very good! I'm proud of you. For those who were able to do it -- great job! You're well on your way to being a person of strong willpower.

I've specifically addressed some of your concerns on my blog. There are some things you can do. Don't give up quite yet! All is not lost!

Working Up To Willpower -- Follow-up

Thanks for all the great notes today about my post on "Working Up To Willpower." I just want to address them in general and perhaps mention one or two in particular.

Yes, willpower is something that you can get better at. It's not true that you either have it or you don't, you know, as some kind of ongoing condition. It's simply that there are some who have stronger willpower than others. My sense is that they reinforce what they have and thereby have more willpower to use.

For many of you this seemed to come across as a big surprise. So I'm glad you're encouraged and that you plan on repeating the exercises until you're able to press on to bigger and more challenging things. Good job. Give yourself a gold star!

To D.F. -- You said you were only able to raise your right hand for three seconds once. I want to encourage you to think about this. Somehow you were able to write me a note about it, meaning that you used your hand more than three seconds. It looks to me that you're dealing with a mental block when given specific instructions, and it's not that you can't use your hand in a normal way. Perhaps you're thinking too much about it, or perhaps you have some kind of complex going back to childhood, in which you unconsciously rebel against instructions, then attribute it to some inability on your part. I would encourage you to try the exercise again, but this time read the instructions to yourself outloud, claiming it as your own instructions to yourself. I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised that not only will your hand follow your willpower for a brief period, but that you will be able to hold it up longer than you now imagine! Good job!

To P.W. -- I'm sorry, but I did not get the standing up and sitting down exercise from a book, so I won't be able to point you to a particular title for purchase. In regard to your desire for diagrams or drawings to enhance your understanding, I would suggest that you go somewhere to a public place, perhaps a library, somewhere where people sit in chairs and then later get up. If you wait long enough you will see precisely what it looks like. Look closely. First they will be sitting, then they will stand. There's no guarantee, I admit, that they will sit down again, but chances are, of course depending on how long you wait, someone will eventually sit down so that you can see the whole process clearly demonstrated. If somehow you are unable to get to a public place, you might put a mirror in front of a chair where you live, then watch yourself stand and sit. I appreciate your concerns, but I hope you're not too offended if I say to you that this is not that hard an exercise to conceptualize.

Working Up To Willpower

A lot of my interest is focused on willpower.

You can do a lot with willpower. But of course there are things you can't do, things that would be physically impossible, like running a five second mile. And things that, they say, you can't do, because of various chemical dependency reasons. You can do a lot but of course reality limits us.

Just because you can't do some things with willpower doesn't mean you can't do plenty. And that's where my interest lies. I want to know what I can do and what I can't do. It certainly seems to me that if it's within the realm of reality and it's something I really want to do, that something within me can get the job done.

I will to do things, then I do them. Like that.

But not everyone has willpower equally, it seems. Or perhaps we just don't know we could have it and do have the potential for it. Or perhaps we're weak through various habits, ruts we're in, so we're at the bottom rung of willpower instead of up the ladder somewhere in a respectable place.

You can work up to willpower, though. That's a key truth. Just because you think you don't have it doesn't mean you can't get it. To bring forth the potential could very well be simply a matter of working up to it, proving the potential all along. You might surprise yourself by what all you can do. And having surprised yourself with the small things -- the small exercises of willpower -- you can really surprise yourself by gigantic strides later on.

Let's say I haven't got any willpower. What kind of exercises might I try to show not only that I do have it, but that I can incrementally increase it as I go along?

I would suggest trying some of these very simple, very basic things. If you can master these -- give them a try -- then maybe you can achieve wonderful things in life, things that before were only fantasies, things in your dreams.

Exercise: Sit at a table. Put your hands on the table. Take a couple deep breaths and try to center your thoughts. You are going to will it now, that you are able to raise your right hand off the table and hold it in midair for three seconds. If you're set, go! Steady there. Hold it, 1-2-3, OK lower it. If you're ready, try it again. If you couldn't do it, don't worry. We'll try it a few times. Repeat the process. Did you do it? Good for you! If not, take a break and congratulate yourself on having given it a super try.

Exercise: Using nothing but the desire and willpower that you have, get up from the chair you're currently in, stand there for a while (let's go 10 seconds), then sit down again. All right, go! Some of you aren't up yet. You're shifting in the chair like you're helpless. Give it a try. OK, some of you are up. You're on two feet. Very good. Some you, this wasn't any trouble for. Just a few seconds to go, and ... down. Very good for everyone. A few of you didn't make it. But I'm giving out A's for effort today. You'll get it next time.

That's enough for today. Just let me encourage you. You can work up to willpower. There are things that you can do simply because you put your mind to it. Then your body follows. Try these again, especially if you didn't get it. For those who were very quick, perhaps look around and think of something that might stretch you. Something I would recommend would be not just to stand in one place for 10 seconds, but perhaps walk around the room (don't get dizzy), then return to your place. Feeling the slightest bit insecure from being untethered to the chair is a natural response. It will come in handy when we start stressing the independence that goes with willpower. That will come.

OK, you all put forth a terrific effort. Kudos all around. Hit the showers, if you're able.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Nice Junkyard Dog

How about having all the better qualities of a junkyard dog, then still be nice?

I was looking at pictures of junkyard dogs online and of course they're very vicious looking. Like someone in charge of the junkyard wasn't taking good care of them or showing them the proper affection.

It's probably true that some dogs have to be trained to be mean, like the ones that work at the police department. The officer aims a remote control at the car, the window quickly goes down, and out leaps the dog to take on a bunch of drunks in a parking lot brawl at a bar. Or they're chasing a rapist through a field. That's understandable.

If you've ever seen it in action, even if it's just a demonstration, it's a lesson that stays with you. If an officer has on a steel-meshed arm protector and the dog charges him and gets hold of it and the guy's going around in circles and the dog is flying through the air while clamped tightly on the arm, that's scary. Because the rest of us don't have steel-meshed clothes.

As far as junkyard dogs, they're usually thought of as protecting the junkyard, like from some guy who would come in and steal a car radio or something. If there's a big mean dog on the prowl, you change your mind, save your money, and go buy a radio is you want one so badly. Or you use a diversion. Have a friend with a big juicy steak over by the gate, then you go creeping in, get the radio and get out.

Think though how easy it'd be to kill a junkyard dog. Poison on a steak. A gun with a silencer. Whatever. So if I'm a junkyard dealer I'm not getting ultimate protection from a dog. If that's my idea of big security, then I'm obviously deluded.

So a junkyard dog could be nice just as easily as mean. Especially if you took care of it and it was just there as a mascot or friend instead of a cheap guard. That doesn't mean that the dog wouldn't do some of the work of a guard, since dogs are automatically territorial. They don't care about radios, they just want to keep their turf.

But I've been places where there'd be plenty of turf to guard, yet the dog is mellow. Like a car fix-it place. The dog's just laying there, sleeping through all the racket of cars being fixed. Wrenches falling to the floor. A screw driver whizzing through the air. (I once knew a mechanic with a very short temper.)

I'm saying all this about junkyard dogs since it applies to one of my self-help concepts. How about being a nice junkyard dog? With all the attention and passion that normally applies to junkyard dogs, but with a nice, mellow streak.

Junkyard dogs are thought of as being tenacious, like dogs generally are. But you can also be tenacious and nice. Alert, playful, absorbed in your being, keeping an eye on your junk, but still you know it's just junk. You're mellow enough to keep to the paths, not overly sidetracked by junk tending.

My experience is that junkyard dogs stay close to the main building. They wander through the junk if they hear a noise out there or smell something interesting. Otherwise, they're sleeping on the floor of the main building. Why should I be wandering through the junk all the time? Why don't I find my contentment in the main building?

It's a compelling image. One that's making a little noise, so I'll check it out today. One that smells a little interesting, so I'll wander around and see what's going on.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough -- IV

This is my fourth and final post today on the theme of being "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough."

It's been a pleasure to develop it as a theme, starting with the idea, then carrying it through to the finish at the close of the day.

Anything like this can potentially change your mind and life. Without much expense. No one's asking you to buy a shelf load of self-help books. Or go to an expensive conference.

Instead, life is free for the living. (That's also a theme we'll be developing in upcoming days.) You've got what you need to get the job done in a good way. Or certainly everything can be gotten quickly if you just know a little bit about it.

I myself, like I've said a couple times today, am not Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough. But I'm aimed that way. Anyway, whether it's a state of mind or a psychic condition that you'd want to be all the time, I can't see it. It'd be a lot better, in my opinion, to be Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough when you needed to be. And I actually can manage that for brief stretches of time.

Now that I've said that, I hasten to add that being Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough even for brief stretches is not a one dimensional thing. It'd be mindless at that point and get you in more trouble than you had before. It's not just standing Tough, let's say, but it has to be mixed in with a lot of good sense, such as yielding, bobbing, weaving, hewing a middle course, etc.

What it means, then, is to be Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough in all those (and other) pursuits which make up the overall pursuit.

Can you picture being Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough in yielding? Imagine that. It's like stepping aside for someone, honoring them perhaps, forgiving them perhaps, being a person of grace, yet doing it in a Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough way. That blows my mind, but really that's what I mean by the concept.

It's a concept that suggests strength, but strength in all its possible dimensions. Often surprising.

Biff! Bang! Pow! -- "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough"


~Biff! Bang! Pow! Happening right now, Biff, Bang, Pow!~

This is definitely something real, being psychologically "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough."

There are certain conceptual self-help principles anyone could follow.

You can just make them up. No one has to tell you. Like I told my dentist today, mysteriously, you already know it all.

On being "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough," I could take a few surgical strikes right now if I needed to.

Except today is more a day to think about it than to do it.

I was in the dentist's chair today and she asked me what I've been doing. Projects. What kind of projects? Self-help projects.

I didn't want to get too specific, you know, the whole scene: Local Man Writes Own Blog, Local Man Teaches Universal Self-Help Truths.

Pretty soon the local newspapers are on the scene. Eyewitness News is looking for a good, oddball feature story...

It can be too much. Next thing I know my waiting room stuffed to overflowing with visitors.

And I might handle it foolishly, let it go to my head. "I will tear down these waiting rooms and build bigger ones!"

Pretty soon I'm inside sobbing from the stress, the impatient people in the waiting room are rocking the building back and forth.

Or maybe they're happy. And people are wanting to be married there. It's like Woodstock, someone gives birth, names the kid after me.

So I didn't say much to the dentist. I bit my tongue. And at one point she was holding it. I came across too mysterious, too secretive.

She asked a theoretical question about God and the afterlife. I'm thinking over a range of answers, any of which would've sounded pompous.

Wisely, I demurred and acceded to one of the options she gave me, something popular but likely untrue. I'm in a chair with a bib on!

Being "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough" sometimes means keeping your mouth shut, except when the dentist says to open it.

I don't say everything on my mind, believe it or not.

I'm still not "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough." It doesn't happen over night, except in those cases when it does.

But conceptually it's a worthy goal for anyone. I just don't really NEED to be right this minute.

Forge Ahead: "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough"


Personal development doesn't just happen on its own. We forge ahead.

I'll gladly admit it. I'm looking for the advantage. And I know the one who is mindful of these things has it.

I don't want to give up but to press on toward the prize.

Today I'm calling it being "Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough."

Being TAN -- NT means you have a strength and confidence that prevails. (If it doesn't prevail at THIS, it will prevail at THAT.)

I myself am NOT Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough. But I'm working on it, and allowing it to happen at the same time.

I've still got a little bit too much of the Old Creampuff in me, I'm afraid.

But it's all good, in this sense, think of the great things to come.

And not only to come, but the things that manifest themselves along the way, as it is with anyone who puts forth a conscious effort.

It's true, if you put forth the slightest effort in any positive thing you have the advantage over those who don't.

So I (and you) don't have to wait till we're Tough As Nails -- Nail Tough to go that direction.

And we will know all the advantages along the way! It's win-win!