Wearing My Wit

I was on this weekend, like really ON my game. I was flirtatious and well-received, I was having fun and being myself. I was less self-conscious and more confident. One man asked me for my number and I gave it to him because our very first conversation happened to be about Radiolab, my weak spot. I was asked to dinner on other occasions and invited out. I danced. It was great fun. I think there was even a girl trying to flirt with me.

Is my fantastic weekend related to the fact it was Halloween? I was cautious about my choice of wear, ensuring my protest of all things slutty. I did not go unattractive, but played it conservatively. I was witty. I made people guess my very simple costume, “skittle eyes? lifesaver glasses? candy eyes? I don’t get it”

Eye-Candy. Yes, I was wearing glasses with candy glued to them. I was being punny, witty. Actually in hindsight, Maybe ironically slutty?

I was more open because I was presenting myself by my wit, not any overt sexuality.

How do I continue to wear my wit when it’s not Halloween?

 

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde quotes

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A-typical lessons from mom

Love means needing nothing from another person.

You can’t expect anything when you ask for what you need.

Mostly a person would rather be happy than right.

Talking about Feelings is burdensome and inappropriate.

It is your fault if you aren’t happy.


 

dreamt my mom and I were in a library, my dad at the end of the table. I dreamt she was stressed at me and we were in a big group taking a test. I knew the test didn’t matter. She was telling me what I needed to do, how I needed “to be”. She was impatient that I wasn’t like her. I got angry, said “fuck you”, signed “I hate you” and left the library.

This is actually a typical interaction these days, well when she was talking to me. Maybe without the fuck yous, but hostile and unpleasant.

At the risk of self indulgence, I am going to share my process. I am bothered by my mother’s expectation but have tried to communicate understanding, stand up for myself when she treats me like there is nothing worse if more burdensome to talk about my feelings. So, I’ve lived with this my whole life, shoving my needs and cares aside for “the greater good” of sparing the family my feelings unless they were good and positive. Forgiving her temper and taking on her anger, resentments as my own. To validate in hopes of receiving love. That doesn’t lend to developing healthy coping mechanisms.

Alas, this isn’t helping me at 6am to get past my anger and hurt that is the pattern we share.

Library –
To dream that you are in the library signifies your search for knowledge and truth. You may be seeking new purpose and meaning to life. It is also indicative of the need to carefully consider all possible scenarios before making major decisions. If the library in your dream is well-kept, this means that you are saturated with too much information and you cannot find time to prioritize them.To see a library in your dream symbolizes knowledge and understanding that you have gained over the years.

Oh yeah, now I’m feeling better.

Table-
To dream of a table is a symbolic representation of the world that you live in. You may soon be invited to a conference or gathering. It further represents the connection you have to family and friends.

Preach it sister.

Test- When there is not a true test coming up in your waking life but you are having test anxiety dreams, this may occur because you are associating stress in your daily life with the same feeling of stress that you had as a child in school. It is likely that you are feeling judged at work or at home. Perhaps this judgement is actually coming from within yourself. 

Well, shit.

The Blessing of Men Who Don’t Want to Sleep with me

I am fiercely independent woman and do a good job on my own. In my 20s, I was wildly aware of my sex appeal. I insisted on buying my own drinks, never committed to just one place. I was always busy and moved around like I owned the world. I had mostly male friends, knowing full-well that there was a power to my appeal, a tease in my failure to commit or fall for sexual courtship. It felt good to have that power and I used it to my advantage.

In my 30s, I am plagued by men who are not interested in me. A good male friend of mine invited me to an out of town wedding in Charleston, SC. He invited me with plenty of time (1 1/2 months) and he made sure I wasn’t seeing anyone else. It was a good drive, we used Airbnb and planned to stay 2 nights. We are both single, we get along well and I really enjoy his company. I feel his distance from me but thought maybe this was a situation whence boundaries could be blurry. I’m attracted to him and felt he was attracted to me but non-committal.

We had an amazingly intimate conversation on the drive down and into the wee hours of the morning. Sharing intimate details about our lives and pasts, accepting and agreeing on politics and religion. We respectfully challenged each other in our opinions and talked about life philosophies. Then, we talked about drugs.

This is a hot button issue for me and I won’t go into it because it could be evolve into a book. In short, I think habitual pot smoking is detrimental to relationships. How can a person connect and “check in” with a partner when they are always “checking out.” Say all you want about how safe marijuana is, habitual use for mood enhancement is denying you the process and gravity of self-regulation.

Anyway, we went to bed. In the same bed. A full bed. The distance between us could not have been larger for me. Here is a man that I have been open and verbally intimate with all day and he does not even want to accidentally brush his leg on mine.

After hours of not sleeping, and restlessness, I got up to do yoga. This is where my revelation came. I have had 2 previous relationships with men who habitually smoke marijuana. We were physically intimate before we even got to the point of sharing a discussion on it. The physical intimacy was so cold after those discussions, even if he told me my point was valid and I was right. I internalized that (and was often told) it was my fault for bringing it up. It was my fault for having an unfavorable opinion. It was my fault for putting a sour spot in our relationship. It was my fault for disrupting their buzz. It was my fault.

But the thing is, it’s not. This is how an addict talks and reasons. He sees the detriment and the negative effects, but it doesn’t matter. Because it makes him feel good. And that outweighs the need to be present or regulate yourself and your emotions.

This is liberating. My friend and I talked about it the next morning when I had some time to process it. He said things like, “I have a lot of girls that I know and think about, and I think about you the most” and “you deserve someone that doesn’t smoke pot.” I think these things are bullshit. One statement is trying to keep potential alive and the other is detaching from the situation to justify getting high. The thing that is liberating is that these statements do not reflect on me. It is not my fault that he isn’t interested and that “our friendship means too much.” He may be rejecting me because I have qualms with habitual smoking, but I wasn’t deprived of physical affection because of it. I wasn’t required to “work it out” with him and accept responsibility for the fate of our relationship simply because we were never together! We are friends, and can remain such. The thing is, I don’t have to accept responsibility for his reaction or the fate of our relationship.

I am free.

Aside

I have a male, very pleasantly demented, and mostly nonverbal patient, who cheers for you with clasped hands as you walk by. Sometimes he claps for you or makes funny faces. He has recently formed a habit of tickling womens’ feet in the middle of the night.

It’s kinda funny until someone with aphasia that can’t communicate or yell for help wakes up to a strange man playing with her feet. Nightmare.

Single

I woke up acutely aware of my age today; Wanting to add to my life but feeling the pull of wasted time searching for something I haven’t found. I felt my dog lounging at my feet, possibly awake but graciously following suit in my morning rituals. I wake up and go back to bed several times, hanging my feet where my pillows lay so I can steal a snuggle from my pup. He lounges Continue reading

A Psychic told me to do it

Aside

I recently went to see a psychic with a couple of friends of mine. Despite how you feel about psychics, (it was donation based which may or may not make a difference) it was a positive experience. She told me to write a book.

I am sensitive to the power of suggestion…

In contemplating the relevance of my story, I realized the stories I love usually have a fable-like quality or irony. That type of writing requires being indirect, something I am not good at. I am good at big ideas and details but not connecting them. For example, I think in book titles. I fight with my mom about emotions (my overflow and her lack of) and all of a sudden I want to write a book about mother daughter relationships and call it “Womb Bomb”.

So, here’s to practicing a craft. Linking the big ideas with the details and not being too long-winded…

Speech And The Five Elements (space, air, fire, water, and earth)

The glottis is the space between the vocal chords. We use the glottis to manipulate sounds and communicate. Space is the primary element where air, fire, water, and earth emerge, operate and interact.

Yoga And The Five Elements (space, air, fire, water, and earth).

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http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/english/frameset.html

Can certain sounds have different effects on your body?

Air Sounds

Air quality is defined within mobility: the ability to move freely, lightly, and effortlessly

  • Vowels: ipa_vowel_chart_2005s
  • Glides: /w/, / j/ as in “yellow”

Fire Sounds

Fire qualities are transformation, suddenness, intensity, radiance, and inspiration

  • Affricates: /t∫/ as in “ch” and /dz/ as in “judge

Water Sounds

Water qualities are softness, fluidity, adaptability, power, and feeling

  • Fricatives: /∫/ as in “sh”, “measure”, /s, z, f, v, th (voiceless and voiced)/
  • Liquids: /r,l/

Earth Sounds

Earth qualities are manifested in stability: the ability to maintain structural integrity under stress

  • Stops: /b, p/, /t, d/, /k, g/
  • Nasals: /m, n/

Breath Inverted

Breathing is the shape change of the body’s cavities. — Leslie Kaminoff and Amy MatthewsYoga Anatomy 2nd Edition

Breath coordination is central to the production of sounds, safety in swallowing and yoga. The topic of breath is far too broad to broach in one sitting, so I will focus on its expiration. Breath is both voluntary and autonomic, meaning it happens without you thinking about it but it can be stopped or started, and manipulated in rhythm and time.

Breath does not solely concern the lungs. Think of the core body in terms of 2 cavities: thoracic and abdominal. As the thoracic cavity expands, the abdominal cavity changes shape and vise versa. According to Yoga Anatomy 2nd edition, the abdominal cavity is like a water-filled balloon; if you squeeze one end, the other bulges in a different direction. The lungs are like an accordion expanding in 3 dimensions (front/back, wide/narrow, and up/down). In yoga, often times you hear instructions to “draw a little more air in to fill the upper chest all the way to the collar bones”, ” fill the belly up with your breath” and “draw the navel back towards your spine to make sure the belly is empty of air.” Essentially, these breathing exercises are designed to change the shape of your abdominal and thoracic cavities. They are contained within the same structure (your body), so changing your body’s position (i.e. laying down, twisting or sitting upright) changes the efficacy of your breath. Breathing techniques are many and can be found in yoga books and but are not often emphasized on many speech sites.

Exhalation is a process of expelling air juxtaposed by the pressure in the lungs trying to return to its original volume. In school, we learn how little of our lung’s volume we actually use in breathing and in speech. In addition, forced exhalation is often inadvertently associated with abdominal contraction. Without thinking about it, the same muscles we use to strain during a bowel movement are used in forced exhalation. With practice and training, we can learn to use different muscle sets for exhalation in order to balance the shape shifting of our system to healthier patterns.

It makes sense to me that one of those ways of balancing the volume change of breath with muscular coordination is inversions. This is where I go on my own in drawing conclusions. The information above is paraphrased from Yoga Anatomy 2nd edition. The ideas below are my own.

If an accordion sits atop a water filled balloon, I picture a heavy accordion on a constantly squished balloon. This insinuates therapeutic interventions beginning with posture changes to lighten the load. The most extreme posture change being handstands, head stands and shoulder stands. Kids do them all the time, somehow channelling their body’s need for pressure change. It is difficult to manipulate the posture of the elderly, especially without assistance by a trained professional (Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist). Obviously, The elderly cannot usually manipulate themselves upside down. But they can lay at different angles supported in different ways (that a trained professional says is ok). The insinuations are endless in releasing tensions of the throat, strengthening of abdominals that can decrease the load of the lungs and in turn creating space in the throat for proper speech and swallowing.

The visual of an accordion and a balloon also helps explain the frequent incidence of Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) in the elderly. Poor posture, weak abdominal muscles, and slower digestive system makes the balloon unsustainable.

Throat Therapy

As Speech Pathologists, we are often looking to address difficulties of expression.  Expression is part physical or concrete in the anatomy of the oral, laryngeal, nasal and pharyngeal mechanisms, but it is also very abstract. For example, rapid naming shows us that although a person can say a word physically, the builded pressure of repetition impairs their ability to do what they have already demonstrated they can do.  In therapy, our first inclination is to address a breakdown in communication in a more concrete manner (i.e. oral motor exercises, worksheets) that foster concrete answers (% accuracy). The essence of successful therapy is in self correction and eventual generalization. Generalization in itself is the balance of the physical and cognitive because a patient, a person must be mindful of what they are doing to alter that behavior. Mindfulness is the fulcrum of yoga and it is the basic principle of executive functioning. 

I think a grounded but cerebral look at communication is healthy in doing our job, which is attempting to heal a breakdown that is a marriage of abstract and concrete. Yoga parallels that marriage by stating there must be space in the throat, physically and spiritually, for healing and mindfulness to occur. 

Image

Sanskrit Name: Vishuddha meaning “to purify”.

This chakra controls the throat and the neck, and the arms and the hands. It is associated with the brachial or cervical plexus.

Element: Ether, as the crossover between the physical world and the world of Spirit. On the physical level, it corresponds to deep space as the most subtle physical element. From the point of view of the Spiritual, it represents the matrix on which physical reality manifests.

  • Color: Bright, light blue
  • Musical Note: A
  • Healing Flower: Morning glory
  • Animal Totems: Hawk, whale, and hummingbird
  • Herb: Frankincense
  • Endocrine Gland: Thyroid Gland
  • Sense: Sense of Hearing

 

Feeding the Chakra

  • Liquids in general: water, fruit juices, herbal teas
  • Tart or tangy fruits: lemons, limes, grapefruit, kiwi
  • Other tree growing fruits: apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, etc.
  • Spices: salt, lemon grass

Gemstones and Flower Essences that stimulate, cleanse and energize the throat chakra

  • Gemstones – Chrysocola, Lapis, Blue Opal
  • Flower Essences – Cosmos, Trumpet Vine, Larch

Healing Exercises:

  • Shoulder stand
  • Singing, chanting

Now, below is a meditation activity I am not suggesting we do in therapy. I do, however, think there is something to be gained by doing open sound repetitions to relax the throat, integrating resonance to help with sensations. In children, an occupational therapist once told me that until the age of 7, they are simply experiencing the world by sensation. They are seeking sensory experiences (touch, sound, smell, taste, sight) and reacting to those sensory experiences. With this reflex in development, repetitions of resonance and open sounds can be enriching to their speech experience. Approaching correction by teaching them that what they are saying is “wrong” can be very damaging. For geriatrics, open sounds and resonance can relax the throat and possibly realign cerebral connections to the speech mechanism through repetition, imitation and chorus. I do not think there have been any studies on this, but I think it would be worth a look…

Throat Meditation
Sit in Easy pose with the hands in gyan mudra (index touching the thumbs). Straighten the spine, drop the shoulders and tuck the chin in slightly to create neck lock.
Chant “Humee Hum Brahm Hum” without using the tip of the tongue at all. Use only the root of the tongue to chant. Chant for 11 minutes.

Guru Dev, Master of Sat Nam Rasayan said that Yogi Bhajan instructed students to chant this in the original class without the tip of the tongue. You only want to chant with the root of the tongue, otherwise do not move the of the tongue at all! This will stimulate the throat and will cause your tongue to get a workout. I have to warn you that you will sound really funny chanting this without the tip of the tongue, but you will experience an amazing effect.

Yogi Bhajan taught this meditation with the recording of Humee Hum from Nirinjan Kaur (Musical Affirmation Vol 2).

– See more at: http://www.spiritvoyage.com/blog/index.php/kundalini-yoga-for-the-throat-chakra/#sthash.T7xTL6Mw.dpuf