Friday, March 30, 2012

Flirting With Disaster?

Barbara: Okay, here’s a blog-leap from the sublime (thank you, Deb, LOVE YOU!!) to the ridiculous. I want to talk about flirting. How it makes you feel. Where you think the line is. Is it good, lovely, or bad, icky.

Why do I want to talk about this today? Well, it keeps coming up in recent convos I’ve had and articles I’ve read. Flirting is suddenly everywhere (except not actually directed at me—which is inevitable as I spend all my time locked in a solitary computer-driven daze … wait, does my dog eyeing me from his perch on the couch count???). Anyway, it’s made me wonder about it—and since we’ve had a bit of a heavy week, maybe we need to flirt with each other a bit and have fun and giggle and stuff.

First I read this article by a respected older writer about his natural male tendency to eye young beautiful girls and all the attendant guilt that comes from that. I think his final point is (my paraphrasing-interpretation here): Flirting/looking is a good thing, it feeds the cycle of human connection, we would all be worse without it, it is harmless, and it is spiritually beneficial (spiritually beneficial? um…okay…). All valid points, but I couldn’t shake the sad urge to tell him that the waning years are equally hard on both men and women: in other words, while women realize they are getting fewer and fewer of those sexy glances as they age (and possibly missing them), I’m sorry to say (admit) that being gawked at by men also usually follows the age scale: hot young man flirting/looking=exciting; old man=not so much. And this brings up an important point—there’s a HUGE difference between wanted attention and unwanted, isn’t there, even though all of this attention falls into the general sphere of “flirting”.

I can’t remember the last time I flirted. And yet I cherish the many engaging, close, and interesting relationships I have with men who are not my husband. I’ve never been a big flirt (outside my marriage). I’ve always preferred to keep my relationships in the realm of “harmless fun”. Luckily for me, I don’t remember a time when this approach created a conflict, where I couldn’t just assume we were, you know, buddies hanging out. I never had to draw an actual line. If there was ever intent there on his side, I don’t actually “know it” because I refused to see or acknowledge it. But then, I never had to deal with anything very obvious or aggressive.

Recently several of my beloveds have been the recipients of some serious flirting… and all of them have been uncomfortable with it. They described to me that moment when “harmless fun” suddenly seemed to veer into “oh, shit, he might want me” territory (this isn’t a post about mutually attracted adults … because that’s a whole other kind of flirting!). Suddenly, my beloveds felt uncomfortable and self-conscious. They wanted to know what to do. In each of these cases, they truly valued these friendships, wished they could continue unharmed, and were looking for ways to manage their sticky situation. What did I tell them? …Oh, I hope you don’t lambast me for this… I told them to keep having fun. To stay firmly on their side of innocent and honest engagement. To ignore the magnetic pull of unwanted desire. Because it’s not a black hole into which you must be sucked. Just because someone wants you doesn’t mean they get to have you. You shouldn’t have to “guard” something (your affections) that you have no intention of giving. For them to “have” you means there must be a mutual attraction. (I hope I don’t need to qualify this by acknowledging that there are some people who take this sexualized attention far too far and must be stopped cold and short, however that means.)

My advice to my beloveds was in the realm of “ignore it and it will heal”. That said, I also added that they shouldn’t fan the flame by blatantly flirting back, and if there were ever an admission of strong/real feelings, then they might need to add a good ‘ol, “This is never going to happen,” or “You’re a great person, but I don’t feel that way,” and continue as they were. And, yes, I even include flirting in professional situations—in fact, the workplace is probably the most commonly rife arena for the innocent and not-so-innocent flirt, isn’t it?

In my optimistic version of the world, I like to assume that we can continue a lovely, positive, and innocent connection with flirtatious people until a) they get the message that this is as far as it goes, b) they back off, and c) any unrequited feelings (having never been stoked) fade and eventually all is back to “normal”.

So this is where I open the door to you guys. Tell us your awful, wonderful, exciting, scary, interesting stories about flirting. Did I give my friends bad advice? Is it possible to treat unwanted flirting as something harmless? And does age figure into this discussion at all? It would be great to hear from both sexes on this one because, of course, all of these points apply to both.

Deb: This is such an interesting and tough subject to nail down. One man’s or women’s flirt may be another’s every day behavior. I can never judge it until I see it firsthand. Someone can seem benign and yet have a come hither gleam in their eyes and then someone else can seem all “out there flirt” and have no such intentions. Again it is subjective, isn’t it?

But I do know this. I am not a flirt. Or shall I say I am not a serial flirtist. I do not flirt as my social M.O. I do flirt plenty with my husband like Barb with hers, but I do not flirt with friends and acquaintances. I like to proudly wear “In A Relationship” on my demeanor. I think it’s fair play. If I were flirting it would (to me) be an indication that I was looking for something else, be it sex or be it a mate. Which I am not. So I don’t.

I will admit that I do get flirted at. And given that the flirter knows that this flirtee is taken, I find it distasteful. I am not judging your advice to your friends, Barb, because I don’t know the flirters or the flirtees or their intention and I totally agree that we should be who we are regardless. But of course I cannot SEE how your friends are acting so I can’t make a blanket statement about it. What they describe as casual conversation may indeed be sending a message. Or their attitudes may be totally innocent. I know mine is. All the time. I am very touchy with everyone, men and women, but not in a sexual way and I am a story-teller and a question asker. So I never have to change who I am because there is no way one could misinterpret my intent. However, when I get the come on vibes that don’t quit, I admit that I shut it down. Because the way I look at it, if you are coming on to a happily married person who is clearly not flirting with you, you deserve the “excuse me, I just need to use the powder room” ruse. 

PS Not that it makes any difference to Deb's point, but I (Barbara) do want to add that all of the peeps I mention here are single. But still ... not interested. Now we wanted to leave you on a high note with this little opus of overt flirting--from us to you. (Thank you, Sean'a, for this bit of loveliness!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Deeply Grateful To All Of You

Deb: Today my plan was to post—as is our wont—a light fluffy Tuesday/Thursday thaingy.

And I had such a lovely thing ready for the Easter Passover season. But I can’t. I will do so next week.

Because sometimes you just need to take time to say thank you.
And so I am.

To each and every single cell of you for the support, the love, the advice, the tips, the stories, and the grasp of joy as you see it and share it.
I love you for your support and I love those of you who need my support. 

My cousin Scott (you may know him as my savior from other blogs) upon reading yesterday's blog, simply and lovingly drove here to be with me. Got in his car he did and showed up at my door, just as I was arriving home from Mom and Dad’s. Perfect timing. It mattered.

People called and people shared, and I do not want any one of you to think that your efforts went unnoticed or unconsumed.

I have swallowed your love and now I shine. Like diamonds. Turns out I didn’t have to search for them after all. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Between A Rock And A Heart Place

Deb: When we are going through tough times, the lucky among us have so many safe havens in which to unload and unwind. But even those who cannot attach a friend or loved one to their worries and stresses, can reach for a multitude of platitudes. Multitude of Platitudes. Try saying that three times fast.

We all know how to cure what ails our worried souls. We all know how to sooth our panicked hearts and how to allay our fears and calm our tethered nerves. We know how to do these things because thanks to sappy over-sharing baby boomers (yes, I include myself) and the internet, they are everywhere, these quick and long fixes. And they work. Work wonders sometimes.

Right now I am stretched to the nines emotionally and have been for some time. I did not want to blog about the details and still don’t. I think anyone who knows me and who reads this blog knows that it is the sad and quickly changing stuff of my parents’ lives. But for now, that is all I will say on that subject. I am not prepared to divulge the details as many of the details are their own private business and, as a result, not mine alone to share.

What I will talk about is the getting on with it. These are the things I know. I know that frustration can be healed by breathing, stepping back, and seeing things from another point of view. I know that anger can be abated with meditation and chocolate and a glass of wine. And I know that my husband can make everything disappear with a gesture and a loving ear. This week my son responded to my cries on the phone with the most empathetic, “Mom, talk to me.” And I did. And like his father, he is a good listener. And he allowed my reservoir to drain a little. And my friends are there for me when I ask them to be, and sometimes when I don’t. I am an odd beast when stressed and sad. I tend to—very out of character for me—retreat and hide. Times like that, the only welcome guest outside of my husband is Doris Day. I wish Doris knew that she has served me better and more often than any guru could. She has been my rock. Not Hudson, mind you, but rock nonetheless.

The other great leveler in grasping times of need is the serenity prayer, which in itself is a wonder. I discovered years ago that the Twelve Steps are great rules for life in general, and they work for all things, not just addiction. And because I am not in any “program” a dear friend gave me a wonderful book called “The Twelve Steps For Everyone”. It has been a good friend.  I know the serenity prayer is well known but I will repeat it here.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Great words. Perfect. True. And they work.
But ... what if I have accepted the things I cannot change, and I have forged ahead with blind and open minded courage to the things I can change, not only knowing the wisdom to differentiate, but appreciating that I am good at doing so.
And then ... what if you employ all these things and what if nothing works? What if I wake up every day thinking it’s going to be different and hoping we are going to take five steps forward and none back? What if every day I put on an optimist’s face and every day the steps retreat so far back, it makes the road itself harder and harder to see?
Well, I thought about this and I thought about this and I decided without a lick of a maudlin overtone that the fact is that there are some times in life that just have to be gotten through. Times when you are in the muck. And when you are in the muck, must you make mudpies? I don’t think so. I think sometimes you just have to be in the muck until it is dried up.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t diamonds to be grabbed and that’s exactly what I am doing. Desperately and voraciously I am grabbing at every damn diamond I can find. Some are hidden diamonds like the boy saying, “Mom, talk to me.” The gift of his openhearted time was diamond enough. Let alone that I got to drain the reservoir a little more. Then there was the dear friend who arrived, in her jammies, tea in hand, very early in the morning to just let me tell my tale. Then there was Barb with her emails saying, “I am here if you want to talk, I am here if you want to just know I am here. You don’t have to talk but I am here.” Then there was my husband, knowing how low I am and knowing how my daily workouts keep me sane, who showed up today with the first two seasons of Downton Abbey to watch in our home gym. Diamonds all!
And then there are the diamonds you have to seek out for yourself. The “Where’s Waldo?” of gleaming moments. The first crocus of the spring, the buds multiplying on the trees, the Facebook status a friend posts that makes you laugh, the fresh berries you bought today that tasted like July. The dogs who greet you every day like you have just won the Oscar, the lottery, and a lifetime supply of underwear. Am I being corny? Yes. Right now, corny looks lovely. Right now, “I’m as corny as Kansas in August.” Because to be corny is to be Doris Day. Doris who, on screen and in her real life, presented us the ultimate in cockeyed optimist and yet had muck up to her eyeballs in most of both. So what would Doris say? Que sera sera. What will be will be. And it may be muck sometimes.
It’s the keen eye in us that makes it the diamonds.
Barbara: Almost too emotional to respond, Deb. This was its own diamond to me. A diamond of blog-dom. A diamond of intimacy and heartfelt connection. A diamond of honesty. Yes, I do know it’s been tough on you and it’s heartbreaking for me to not be able to platitude and love it away. But such is life. And even if my own troubles and concerns aren’t of this tall, difficult order, you’ve given me enormous comfort today when I too am feeling down and out. It IS in the looking for diamonds amid the muck. That’s the only—ONLY—“trick” I’ve ever been able to absolutely count on in times of life-suckage. And all that aside, Deb: “I am here if you want to talk, I am here if you want to just know I am here. You don’t have to talk but I am here.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Saving Graces

Barbara: For a long time I've wanted to share this little "miracle" treatment I've been using to great success. In all my years of trial and error, one of my favourite no-fail natural cure-alls has been castor oil. It was recommended to me by an amazing healer many years ago and I use it religiously. Not to be confused with cod liver oil, castor oil comes from a flower and is mild and lovely. I use it externally as a remedy for skin issues like rashes, bruises, those hard little calcium deposits that love to pop up around the eyes, and for spider veins on my legs. I am prone to all of these and applying the castor oil has eliminated the calcium bumps as they come up, helps to diffuse the darkening of any bruises, and has actually kept more spider veins at bay, even minimizing the look of the ones that are already there. It is cheap and easy to find at a natural store. It is completely safe and can even go into your eyes if you apply it too closely, with no issues at all! The only problem is that it is goopy and thick. I rub it into my legs every morning until the goopiness has mostly gone and only wear it when I'm wearing jeans or thick pants where it won't bleed through. After doing this for the better part of five years I can assure you that it won't damage your clothes. I also use it as a cheap night cream every few nights and most nights I also massage it in around my eyes on top of my eye cream. Every one I know who uses it absolutely swears by it. But most people don't know about it, so I'm sharing it here! If you've tried it, let us know your experience. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them to the best of my ability (although obviously no expert) (and, no, this is not an advertising endorsement!).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Working Easy

Barbara: You know that Deb and I have often attributed the success of our relationships to the fact that we don’t take anything for granted and that, despite our loving bonds, we recognize that we have to work hard to keep those relationships growing and stimulated and close.

But what if you also have to remember to “work easy”??? I ask the question, but I know for a fact that we both do that too. Working easy is about letting a beloved’s intertwined life flow around yours and them letting your life flow around theirs. Working easy is about setting aside your expectations of a beloved’s actions and just letting them be. Working easy is not about solving problems, but about listening to them. It adds the “un” to “conditional”. It reminds you that life doesn’t always have to be tackled at a breakneck, list-checking pace (which you know from our recent posts we sometimes forget). It allows everyone involved a time-out to breathe and re-group.

We were so lazy, we forgot to take pics, so here's one I love from last year.
My younger daughter (who’s been away for university) came home for the weekend. It’s been bliss! And we didn’t race around and try to do a million things since this is her one precious weekend home, desperately hoping to make up for all the things she might have missed here (although there was a very little bit of that … because we had to). No, we talked for hours in our pajamas, sipping our favourite tea from favourite mugs. We slept in. We read. We watched movies at home. We had a couple of nice meals out to lessen the mundane load of grocery shopping and cleaning up after. We relaxed… We “worked easy” at reminding ourselves and each other that this is a sweet road to familial love and affection.

Two of my favourite topics that we wrote about are when we shared our marriage stories with you (Deb And Barbara Have A 4-Way) and parenting our now-grown children (What Kind Of Mother Am I?!). I think both of these life-stories succeed thanks as much to easy work as hard. We can get so wrapped up in all the things we HAVE to do for our families (chauffeuring, cooking, cleaning, organizing, orchestrating) and even for ourselves (appointments, schedules, deadlines, dream-weaving, chasing, challenging) that we forget that so much of the best contact and experience comes through easiness. Through letting down our strict agendas that will surely take us toward success and worthiness and personal glory, and sitting back instead and allowing things to come to us in their own lazy, loving ways, no expectations, no rules, no panic of failure.

I know this has been a theme in many of my posts lately. Blame it on a common theme in my life right now. And credit it to the fact that I am trying to listen to my life lessons. And blame it on the fact that, as our daily readers, you have to go on our journeys of self-discovery with us (whether you like to or not!). And credit it to the fact that both Deb and I love to share this stuff with you.

I know that I will still and always have to work hard at lots if not most things in my life. But I want to remember this mantra of “working easy”. I want to pull it out whenever I get overwhelmed or confused. I want to bring it to my creative work—where working easy will always give me my best and truest work. I want to see where working easy—being easy—will take me.

Deb: Working easy! Another phrase I am adding to the arsenal of living. It’s a wonderful concept and easy to adopt. In the world of symmetry (Quantum Physics, anyone?) we had almost a mirror weekend in our home a few weeks ago. The boy, like Barb’s girl, just felt the need for home, to reconnect, to just be in the bosom of family. Colin was away for part of it, but we structured the time so that the boy would have time with both of us. And that is all we structured. We worked it easy and I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT! We did as Barb said: relaxed, watched shows together, played on the floor with the dogs and laughed. We ate in however, but we ordered so that it would be relaxing. The yin yang of family worked its magic and it reminded us all why we are the easiest of friends, we three. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Auto Focus

Deb: Barb’s quantum physics classes have brought many fascinating ideas to light and one of them is this idea of focus. Thank you, Barb, for Hocus Focus. My particular focus is that of a gadfly. It is not something I am particularly proud of, nor is it something I relish. But I struggle with my focus, which is why as I have mentioned my love for Transcendental Mediation and why it works for me. Trouble is, I keep forgetting to do it because every time I intend to, my mind flits to another idea or another task. I keep tons in my head. Tons. Really. Tons. I know that we all do so I am not setting myself up here as the busiest or the most pressured.

Although this is about me so...

The problem is, my brain is not orderly. My darn brain works as a catchall. Not a single filter in there. Every time I try to organize my brain into folders I will suddenly have a random thought and, as I turn my head to pursue it, all the ideas tumble out of my brain folders and onto my brain floor, scattered amongst the other grey matter (referring to my brain of course, not the fact that I am old). Although in fairness my hair is grey and I dye it. So full disclosure, from the neck up, I am technically all grey matter.

But, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I lack focus.

A small example of this is that while I was writing the first paragraph, I got up four times: once to phone my parents, once to get tea, once to put the dry cleaning at the front door, and once to write down an idea for another blog. Actually, I lie. I really did all those things before I wrote the sentence, “My particular focus is that of a gadfly”, which is what inspired me to write that sentence. The real truth is that between that sentence and the end of the paragraph I also searched through my purse for a chocolate covered caramel that I knew I had put in there and wanted to have with my tea. It was there, as it turned out. I ate it and now I am on a roll.

Okay, now to the point of the blog. I have been focus experimenting. I have been making a point to think only of one thing at a time and seeing where it leads.
My first experiment went like this:

Last week, because spring/summer came early to Toronto I was walking along, with visions of phone calls, to do lists, ideas, worries and tasks in my head. As I walked I decided to clear my head of “shoulds” and focus on the day, the beautiful warm sunny day. So I did. My brain fought back for a bit, like it was resisting being squeezed into a bikini too early before it had a chance to use self tanner. But then ... then it relaxed and all it could see and all it could think of was the stunning rapturous March summer day. And then a feeling swept over me. And it was all encompassing. I was a teenager again and I was walking to school on that first really honest to goodness warm day after the winter. And my coat was tied around my waist and the sun was on my face and everything was new and filled with freedom and thoughts of boys, and I felt teenaged sexy and young, and the world was my oyster and all my dreams were possible, every single one of them!

Now the fabulousness of this focus experiment was that—and this is key to the understanding of it—I had none of these thoughts. None of them. But I had all of the feelings. I was transported. I was back there in that time!

But the really fantastic thing was that at the end of the focus experiment, I was left with the resulting buoyancy. I did not feel that these were memories of a state of being. I was left with a feeling of the possibility of me NOW. Sure it’s easy when you’re young to dump the tasks and worries and chores when you want to. Isn’t that what youth is? We always say that youth is wasted on the young. The idea, of course, is that if I had known when I was young what I could do and what I had going for me I would have done so much more bla bla bla.

But what I have realized is that youth is started on the young and finished whenever you want it to finish. If you’re smart, your youth won’t finish till you’re dead. What a revelation I had. I did the focus experiment to see if I could focus. That’s all. Focus. But the focus gave me a parting gift that I did not expect. It helped me to see that whatever is happening in my life, be it good or bad, it is not set in stone. I can change it, simply by changing it. I can prattle on and on about what could have been, or stress about issues I am grappling with till the cows come home.

Or, I can focus on something lovely and I can become anything I want.

Barbara: Okay, I love this post so much, I want to bite you. I want to squeeze your cheeks and kiss you. I want to laugh uproariously (which, by the way, I did several times while reading. Actual throw-my-head-back laughter) and I want to cry (which, by the way, I also did at the end there). This is just so so beautiful and true. True and Beautiful. And I think I’m feeling kinda freakishly euphoric right now because lately I too have experienced this amazing release of tension and fresh awareness of possibility. Lately, thanks to my recent exercises in focus, and thanks also to a lovely friend (waves at Shalaka) who sent me some guided meditations that I’ve actually been using, for the first time in my life I am practicing focus on a regular basis and it is all these things you speak of. Being in the clean, clear, wondrous moment. Being the best and sweetest part of yourself. Being here.

Thanks for playing, Deb, and for sharing your own experience with us! You guys???

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When Humans And Wild Animals Come Together

Barbara: I’ve always wondered why wild animals respond to human interaction—despite every indication they should fear and avoid us. Why will an eagle sit on a trainer’s arm and not only allow itself to be petted, but seem to kinda like it? What evolutionary reason could there possibly be for any wild, not traditionally domesticated animal to respond to human stroking, touching, hugging or heartfelt looks? Seriously, if anyone has an answer, I’d love to hear it.

These three sweet and hilarious videos reflect my question. I saw the seal video ages ago and didn’t post it here—even though it astounded me—because someone responded that seals should never be encouraged to approach humans for two very serious reasons: 1) they are unpredictable and could be extremely dangerous, and 2) if they believe that humans are harmless and loving, they risk putting themselves in harm’s way with the not-so-loving among us. But I decided that—as this brought up such a positive feeling in me of that inexorable communing between species—that I would give you the provisos (ie never hug a seal!) and still share with you the experience. The part that will absolutely floor you in the penguin video comes at 1:05—do not miss it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I Learned

Barbara: So I had my last class in Quantum Physics last night and I am happy to say that, yes, my life has changed!

Okay, my daughter and I were just hashing out what “my life has changed” even means: is it your literal life, is it in the everyday, is it in shifts of thinking or awareness (but which of these actually “stick”), what exactly has changed and what qualifies as “life changing”…And on and on. Subtleties too complex (or unfathomable) to actually answer.

Which brings me full circle to quantum physics. Here’s the beauty: every fundamental question we have about life is “too complex (or unfathomable) to answer” in the world of physics too, even by our most illustrious scientists. But the answers they have come up with are actually amazing to consider.

As I told you before, I was never religious, but still I could always feel a rightness about spirituality and a connectedness to others and unconditional love and all those lovely things. I just never liked the rules and regulations, the punishments and rewards, the seeming favouritism or exclusion, the black and white-ness of religion, or conversely, in more encompassing religions like Buddhism, I find the quiet too … I don’t know, quiet? Strangely, quantum physics is maybe as close to understanding/finding religion as I’ve ever been able to get. Why? Okay, I will try and answer that question in as brief and concise a way as possible (for me). And why am I going to even try and answer it? Because, like with every epiphany and miracle, I want to share it with you, even if I risk sounding like an idiot or utterly confusing you with my inability to communicate clearly (my most basic fear: the inability to communicate).

So here I am trying to sum up for you 8 weeks of classes, several intense readings including the wonderful The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, and a few TV shows and movies on the subject. In other words, a) I am no learned expert, and b) the ideas that have been illuminated for me got there through many, slow steps (quantum steps!). Is it a losing game to even try blogging about this? We’ll see. But I do love you guys so much for always humouring me and going along for the ride no matter how rambly, weird, unfun, or unclear I am!

The most amazing thing I learned was that we are all made up of the same fundamental energy at our core. And, as we posted here before, that fundamental energy connects the entire universe (hello, big bang). But we have, through our processes of thinking, created a sense of separateness from each other and our place in the world that has literally caged us inside little thought-boxes, which in turn leads to all the conflict we see in the world around us (imagine if you will 6 billion rigid little thought-boxes ramming up against each other). But by working to free our minds and our rigid sets of rules (whatever those may be), we have a chance to truly see and know ourselves and the universe in ways we never imagined.

This from Gary Zukav in The Dancing Wu Li Masters: “Most of us respond to our environment with a collection of automatic responses that once brought desirable results, usually in childhood. Unfortunately, if the environment that produced the results changes (we grow up) and the responses themselves do not adapt, they become counterproductive. Showing anger, becoming depressed, flattering, crying, and bullying are response patterns appropriate to times often long past. These patterns change only when we are forced to realize that they are no longer productive. Even then change is often painful and slow. The same is true for scientific theories.”

As far back as Einstein, experiments revealed that those wonderful laws of science that we apply to everything could explain most of what happens and how it happens—but not all of it. So the physicists around Einstein’s time, including him (only referencing him because, of course, he’s the most famous), began coming up with formulas that could maybe explain everything. They seemed to find it with a “quantum” explanation of things, but most physicists (including Einstein) hated the quantum model because it led to strange discoveries like this: did you know that in experiments as far back as the early 1900s with sub-atomic “components” (ie photons), the results were determined by the mere fact of the photon being observed? In other words, stuff would act differently depending on who/what was looking and when/where! And also that observed stuff could somehow communicate with related stuff across the world and change that in the exact same way—as if one tiny photon in New York was telepathically communicating with its twin photon in Tokyo! (If you haven’t studied physics—like I hadn’t before this—you have to take my word for this. These are scientifically-based experiments I’m quoting.)

After the shock of that discovery wore off for the scientists, the question had to become, “Well, who/what is the observer then? And why and how can It affect things?” And then every question and experiment after that just confirmed and re-confirmed that we are all a connected “observer”, subconsciously (or consciously) affecting—and determining—our world every second of every day (if you even believe in “time”—but that’s a whole other question). I began to become aware of that rigid cage we’ve each made for ourselves and realized how it is a habit (an uncomfortable/comfortable habit) that has developed over our generations-long stubborn belief that what we see is what is.

Now this is all a huuuuggeee over-simplification, of course, but this is how my life has changed. All those catchphrases that I took for granted as 60’s era hippie love has actually been confirmed for me through the scientific world! It is what it is. We are all one. We can do anything. Build it and they will come. It is a seductive, reassuring, hopeful, empowering “religion” that gives me “proof” of its existence every single day.

And the best part of all this is, each of us can learn to push off our restrictive thinking by simply approaching the world as a child would: open and curious. Open. Curious.

I’ll leave you with another thought from The Dancing Wu Li Masters: “The next time you are awed by something, let the feeling flow freely through you and do not try to “understand” it. You will find that you do understand, but in a way that you will not be able to put into words. You are perceiving intuitively through your right hemisphere.”

PS for those of you who live in the Toronto area, here is a link to the school that hosted the class. The class itself is called Philosophy and Quantum Physics and is offered two or three times a year at the School of Philosophy. The next session starts on April 10th and runs for 10 weeks. It is in a relaxed setting with no exams, tests, reading list, homework, or notebooks!

Deb: This is fascinating and, frankly for me, easy to grasp and believe. I know when you started the Quantum journey I was “WHAT?” but the summary has touched my brain. It makes sense. The idea of all of us being the same is both wonderful and sad at the same time--give us an inch and we’ll wreck it. But the awe statement was the deal breaker for me. Let it freely flow through you and try not to understand it. These are the moments in my life that have transcended me. I want more and this may help!!!! They are the “Let go and let God” moments. And that of course would be God as each of us understands Him. In this instance it would be the God in all of us, each creature on earth. Or the us in God. I use the word God, not to put religion in this but to illustrate what you have said in a term that we have been raised with as humans. We have the power ourselves just by our very existence. Then sadly ... we think. Ironic, isn’t it? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Middle Ages Presents David Mitchell's Soapbox

Deb: David Mitchell makes me laugh. He is smart and funny and I love him. A recurring guest on QI (a British TV comedy panel show), he also has his own show (David Mitchell’s Soapbox) and I thought I would share something of this witty witty man. Here is a link to more witty hilarity.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Italicized Love

Deb: When I write, I tend to lean on the emphasis devises. If you read our blog you will know this to be true. You will be hard-pressed to find more “!!!!!!!’s”  or more  “LOVE IT’s” or more “:-)‘s” if you searched the web 4EVER!!!!!

I guess I do this because it is the way I speak and the way I feel and I want this to come through in my writing.
AND for want of better vocabulary I must fall back on !!!!!!! LOVE :-)))))))))))) et al.

For today’s installation I have employed the “italicized” devise because I felt I needed to UNDERSCORE my joy.


We decided for career reasons that he should spend this past four weeks in L.A. I could not join him given my responsibilities at home with my Mom and Dad. We knew we could get through it and we did. And we are used to being apart. But not for a month. And what we found was this:


Not a bit. Nope. Doesn’t work for us. During his away we would Skype and text and call and email and FB but it didn’t work for us.
We had to examine the why of it and in doing so discovered the reason.


Don’t wanna be apart. Marriage works in all sorts of ways for all sorts of people but for us people, our marriage, it doesn’t work apart.
Paul and Linda McCartney said they never spent a day apart. They were lucky. They had the means and the money to make that happen. We do not.

But what we do know is that after this away experiment we will not do it again. How many of us have to make these compromises?

What we have discovered through this period of away is the fact that despite what you have to do when you have to do it does not mean you have to do it the way you think it has to be done.

We cannot change what our life is right now. It is what it is.
We cannot change the needs of the many or the needs of the few. (special thanks for paraphrasing that quote goes to the Geek in me)
But we can change the effort. We can choose not to take the easy road and think it’s going to be livable.
Sometimes the shortest line between two points is the longest road.
From this point on we have decided that our marriage requires that we take one hundred hours to do a two hour drive.

With apologies to my husband I give you his nemesis—Sting. But in my defense, Sting nails it.
P.S. Video aside the words are the message here.

Barbara: First things first, Deb: I was under the (often embarrassed) impression that I far out-italicized/EMPHASIZED you here!! I’ve even admired your restraint for the most part for all words emphaSIZED. I hate to usurp you in any way, but I had to call it before someone else does. I mean, can I use any more question marks or exclamation marks in my stories, responses, and comments???!!! Anyway, I had to get that out of my system. I am a lover of speak-writing the italics, so clearly I hear you here.

As for the italicized love, I can only say that you made my heart pitter-patter with this post. You’ve been such a trouper this last month. If Colin is reading this: it’s true she has. This month defines Deb’s spirit. She never once complained, she filled her time, she did her thing, she had fun. Let me say that again: SHE NEVER ONCE COMPLAINED!!!! (you see what I did there—caps and italics and exclamation points) It’s only now that you are home, Colin, that she has let the damn burst and let her true feelings of missing you have their way with her. I am so happy you two are back together. The world is as it should be once again.