vsw part four…

…so, i’ve been working on focus and becoming very focused on my goal of getting a home on the beach in washington state…my home. i’m focused on making the money that i need and clearing up loose ends here. focus will always be an ongoing struggle and visualization for me.

i’ve begun visualizing something else lately, as well. i’ve been visualizing physical fitness. yes, i’ve lost an enormous amount of weight, but i’ve still got half more to go to reach my goal weight. i’m a work in progress. ha-ha…if i ever make it off of “restriction,” whomever is just going to have to understand that i’m fluid, right now a “shape shifter.”

it’s been nice for me to have j**s to talk to about these things. she’s never been heavy or overweight, but she’s a nurse and deals with all kinds of shapes, sizes and body types. she’s seen all kinds of things and has been very helpful, giving me insightful hints and ideas for maximizing my workouts specifically for each problematic part of my body.

i’m an honest person. for the most part, i tell it like it is. however, i’ve never sat down with anyone before and honestly talked about weight, cellulite, stretch marks, extra skin, etc. j**s did an exercise with me. she had me close my eyes and visualize each part of my body that was problematic and i wanted to change.

i began with my double chin, although way smaller, it’s still there. i pictured it in my mind’s eye. i held the image for quite a while, looking at it from all angles. then with my eyes still closed, she had me visualize how i wanted my chin to look when i’ve attained my physical fitness goals. it was pretty similar to now, except for a little less fatty deposit.

we went through every part of my body. i visualized how it was now and how i wanted it to look when i had attained my physical fitness goal. mind you, this was not in person, but had the same effect. it was incredibly powerful to let go of the body shame, to deal honestly with my own imperfections, and incredibly motivating to see all that i will be.

that night, i was pleasantly surprised when i received a text message that just said, “bike?” i knew what that meant and i headed to the gym. we were riding our exercise bikes together. i can’t text and exercise, but received encouraging messages every so often. it was really fun to have someone to work with and encourage me.

next text, “hydrate!” followed by, “easy core workout for you.” so, when all was said and done, we had done 60 minutes of cardio and i did an easy core circuit workout, because i don’t know any test results yet and don’t want to push myself too hard. afterwards, it was really nice to hear that i was doing a great job and would achieve my goals.

it’s nice to have a person who is strictly a friend want to see me succeed and want to help to push me to be my absolute best. which is incredibly ironic, because i have another friend, the original motivator and inspiration for my healthy change. and that friend, she’s the one who changed my life for the best.

she’s the sage woman that encouraged me to begin visualizing all of my wants, dreams, desires, goals…say them out loud…and then, write about them. this has been really enlightening and helpful advice. i feel like it has already helped me to focus and it is helping me to attain my physical fitness goals.

i do three things before i finally go to sleep at night. i reflect on what i’m grateful for, sometimes i write about it and sometimes i don’t, but i always do it. i do a meditation. once in bed, i visualize those things that i want, dream of, desire, my goals…and as they pop into mind and i focus on them…i say them out loud.

i will have what i want. and, i’ve got this…

 

pre-dawn…

…not night…

…but, not quite day yet…

…not cool…

…but, not quite hot yet…

…not loud…

…but, certainly not quiet…

…not busy…

…but, not sparsely populated…

…it’s predawn…

…the moment, the point…

…where night and day…

…split apart and separate…

vsw day two…

…i am still working on focus…practice makes perfect, right? i think that it’s a good thing to spend a little extra time on a skill that is only going to help me and get me where i’m going to faster.

so, i’ve been visualizing my two previous examples of focus. i find them to be incredibly helpful. i can feel myself gaining insight into what focus means to me and why i seem to be unable to focus.

well, to me, focus means giving something or someone my absolute attention. when i am focused on something or someone important, i shouldn’t have crap floating through my mind like: wondering how much gas i have in my car…where i can find a phillips head screwdriver to put my new license plates on with…or, what circuit workout i should do that night.

i shouldn’t let myself get so sidetracked by these things. it’s not good for me, my work, or people who are important to me. when i allow these things to distract me, i set myself up for failure, because distracted…i’m there…but, i’m never completely all there and certainly not my best.

i seem to be unable to focus for many reasons…i’m: unsettled, restless, torn, ambivalent, uncomfortable, not feeling my best, confused, and just plain scattered. i have my head in the clouds…i’m thinking about different people, wondering what they’re up to…i’m trying to workout faster and harder, and i’m trying to think of ways to get home faster…but, i haven’t been focused enough to pull it altogether.

so, i’m going to continue to visualize focus. i want to be able to give my work, my goals, my wants, my needs, and my people the focus and attention that they all deserve. i want to be able to tie it altogether, achieve, and get there tomorrow.

i know that the reality of the situation is what my friend told me. she told me that plans bend and sway and change, but to use that time to appreciate my accomplishments of the past two years. i’m taking her advice. i’m regrouping. i’m getting focused.

and once i am…watch out. i will visualize. i will say things out loud. i will write about them. and, i will get what i want.

devoid…

and, i feel it sometimes

or, i think that i feel it

it’s like a phantom organ

my mind knows

that it’s not there

but, left in it’s place

damaged nerve endings

and thick scar tissue

like to play games

with my senses

needling and burning

pulsating and throbbing

a prolonged and perpetual

dull toothache-like hurt

it’s long, long gone

and, yet somehow i manage

to keep going without it

but, i know that i’m

altogether lacking

a very vital part

i know that i am devoid

 

 

 

vsw day one…

vsw = visualizing what i want. speaking what it is that i want out loud. writing about it afterwards.

a very sage woman’s advice, that i fully intend to commit myself to, as she reminded me that “i’ve got this.” i’m grateful for her words, advice, and encouragement.

day one – focus

i’ve clearly been distracted, scattered, and not my usual dedicated and prolific-writer self. i’ve hit some roadblocks, gotten stuck, and been paralyzed by fear.

this distraction has kept me from doing even the simplest of tasks. an important response to a friend which i’ve written and rewritten at least a dozen times is at the very least four or five weeks overdue.

photographs that i took at the end of april, when my friend l***a was here, are still sitting in a folder…untouched. they have been sitting there being forgotten, because i got sidetracked.

there are many causes for these distractions: health concerns, increased cardio and workouts, lack of sleep, being psyched out by my therapist, r*****d, work, buying a car, friends, and plain, old fear.

so, here i am today visualizing or trying to visualize focus. i think to myself, “what exactly does focus look like?” two things pop into my mind pretty much instantaneously.

the first thing is going on a visit to an opthamologist or optometrist’s office. i sit in that funny looking chair in a dimly lit room. the doctor arrives and takes his place on a rolling stool in front of me. he pulls a giant, metal do-hickey up to my face and has me lean forward into it. my eyes match up to two lens areas. the doctor turns on a projector and letters appear on the wall. rows and rows of letters going from bigger to smaller. the doctor asks me to focus on the letters and begins moving lenses around. he says, “focus on the smallest line of letters that you can read and read them out loud.” i do so. he says, “focus on those same letters and tell me which is clearer…option a or b.” and, i focus and i’m kind of in a trance of only focus…trying to make my eyesight as clear and sharp as possible. i continue to focus, entranced, “a or b, b or a?” finally, my appointment is over, but i know that i was able to focus and get the best optical option for me.

the second thing is working in the darkroom…developing, enlarging, and printing “real” film photography. the darkroom is very dimly lit. it’s like a cave…dark, quiet, cool, and full of magic and inspiration. i allow my eyes to focus, i can see and work in the dark. i put my negative into the negative carrier, emulsion side down. i use the grain focuser to focus the grain of my print before exposing it to light. this is the point at which the light source joins together the negative and the paper…in a magical process. this seemingly blank piece of photo paper is then placed into emulsion. i focus my eyes and watch as the magic happens. right in front of me appear figures, shapes, and people…where there were none before. i fix the image and wash my print. i squeegee the excess water and put it in the dryer.

those are the visualizations that i used when focusing on “focus.” i saw it. i was in the scene. i was doing it. through those scenarios, i was able to achieve focus. now, i need to stay focused. but, if i do get distracted or stuck, in the future…i can return to these visualizations. i said, “focus” out loud, nine times, as nine is my perfect number, and i have written about this whole “vsw” process.

focus is mine…

 

 

 

 

for my friend who is going through some shit (nothing to do with me)…

j*****a feels like being quiet

she is retreating…

pulling away…

making her great escape…

she sees the light…

at the end of the tunnel…

she eyes her white flag…

sitting on the table…

near the door…

she is torn…

does she listen to her demons…

or, does she listen to her heart…

she picks up her flag…

she begins to pace…

she tries hard to hear her gut…

she scrambles to sort feelings out…

the question is…

will j*****a act…react…or do nothing…

will she take action…

take a chance and risk it all…

will she just react…

waving her flag, recoiling, running…

will she do nothing…

playing it safe and never changing…

at any rate, she’s debating…

she’s keeping her words to herself…

not because she’s unkind or stingy…

not at all, it’s entirely because…

she needs time to frame her answer…

as to not distress…

or hurt the questioner…

today, j*****a feels like being quiet…

i live on a limited income…

***tonight, it seemed apropos to go through the things that i have written in the last year. i came across this little gem that i had written about, m****a.***

i live on a limited income

yes, sure that’s sometimes true of my finances…sometimes not…

but, what i speak of is much more existential, than anything else…

what i’m talking about is way more valuable to me than any currency…

it may have no value at all to you and in fact you’ve shown me that repeatedly…

i’m talking about the things that give my life authenticity and meaning…

the things that i either give myself, i earn, or i accept as gifts from others…

there are many of these things, but i will use love as an example…

i have a very limited amount of love in my life, it’s my most scarce commodity…

i absolutely, positively have to keep as much as i can for myself…

as i have only a small stipend coming in each month from friends and buggs…

i really don’t have any extra love to throw around willy-nilly…

if i use half of the love that i was going to use on myself, on you…

it’s because i wanted to and i thought that you were worth sharing with…

i didn’t expect you to share with me, but had a little left from the month before…

you liked it, you liked it a lot and wanted more, that made me happy. i obliged…

at the end of the third month, you came by with your hand out…

i looked deep within myself, in each and every place, and found no trace of love…

the love was gone, absolutely nothing for myself and nothing for you…

i looked up rather sheepishly, expecting to meet your gaze, but you were gone…

long gone…and there i was wondering how i could give to my own dog…

what i-myself had so foolishly and recklessly squandered, risking it all…

wondering how i could give him, what i no longer even had for myself…

in one movement, he was in my lap, licking my tears away…

in that moment, his sweet nature and kindness filled me…

filled me with more than enough love for both of us, he and i…