Perspectives and the Subconscious

 

I have had a recurring dream, at least once a year, of being at high school or college, not remembering my class schedule, where my locker is, or the combination.  Finally getting to my class only to find it is over, I’ve missed most of the semester, and I have not paid my tuition, or I haven’t graduated yet.  I think this is often a recurring dream for many people.

Last night my “recurring” dream was dramatically different.  I dreamed I was at high school.  I knew my schedule.  I knew where my locker was.  My books were in order.  I was part of the popular group of kids, which was not true in real life high school for me, and I was actually helping incoming freshmen know where to go and what to do at the school on that opening day.

As I lay in bed pondering this huge shift in my school dream, I realized it had something to do with feeling like I belonged with a group of people in a learning environment.  Here’s what I believe triggered this change of perspective and also the shift in my dreaming.

On Saturday I went with my daughter to a huge gathering of the guilds (art guilds) at the Oregon Convention Center because she had a ceramic piece on display there through her high school.  I decided to wear the yellow and grey outfit I made and the felted necklace I made to go with the outfit.  I even put on some makeup, which I seldom do normally.  I wanted to fit in and feel confident among all those accomplished artists.  As I walked through and around the many booths at the convention center, I was repeatedly stopped by others who commented on my unusual necklace, telling me how gorgeous it was!  I was very  pleased having others appreciate my work.  It was validating to me.

As I was talking with another fiber artist at her booth, she encouraged me to join the Portland Weavers Guild because it is open to all fiber artists.  She suggested that I would find my tribe there.  I felt so excited about the idea I went home and began researching the guild.  I decided I would join.

When I dream about Trackerschool I always feel completely at home and part of that tribe.  Now I have another tribe to feel at home in.  I think it is interesting that Trackerschool did not change my high school recurring dreams, but meeting these other artists and being invited to join their group did.

Connections and relationships are what life is all about in my opinion!

The Book “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, and Weight Loss

My daughter Melissa has introduced me to the Keto diet philosophy, so I am listening to the book she recommended, “Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes on Audible.  Taubes presents exhaustive research and sites study after study to back up his claims.  I find this to be very helpful in convincing me that this diet could work for anyone.

Taubes gets into the nitty gritty of how insulin making us gain weight in chapter 11, and explains things very thoroughly!

The Keto diet reminds me of the Suzanne Sommers diet I tried years ago, which blew my mind because I could eat so much wonderful food and still lose weight.  One night I remember going out to dinner and I had a gorgeous large trout dripping with seasonings and butter, along with a double serving of roasted asparagus, buttered and seasoned to perfection.  I did not have the rolls, the salad or the salad dressing because there were carbohydrates and sugar there and I didn’t want to draw insulin into my blood which would simply take all that fat and store it in my cells.  Instead I ate the meat, veggies, and fats and lost a pound by the next morning.

The Keto diet is all about keeping the insulin in your blood low to keep your fat cells from storing fat so your body can release it instead to be used as fuel.  Low carbohydrate diets are not new, and Taubes cites quotes from ancient times where it was well known that carbohydrates and sugars, which trigger the insulin spike,  were the main culprits in the struggle against obesity.

I have a renewed interest in this type of diet since my daughters are excited about trying it and we are all three working the diet together, supporting each other with texts throughout the day, phone calls sometimes, showing what we each are eating (knowing I am going to have to show my meal to my diet partners makes a big difference in whether I stick to my goals or not)!

Melissa’s husband is trying the Keto diet too.  He has lost an amazing 9 pounds in two weeks without having to go hungry!

When we reach a milestone, we are going to celebrate with something special.  And at our family reunion this summer, we are going to have an awards ceremony for each of us and give prizes for our accomplishments in our weight loss goals!  We are having fun fantasizing about the flower wreaths we will crown each other with and just being recognized for our determination and accomplishment!

We are publicizing this awards ceremony to the family facebook page to invite others to join with us, share information and support, in this health crusade!

Structure and Personal Evolution

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I feel like I am in an ever shifting paradigm.  The sand underneath me is shifting, falling away, leaving me without structure to order my life around.  What once was solid is now barely there as an almost invisible outline of what once was.

The song I learned as a child went, “The wise man built his house upon a rock; The foolish man built his house upon the sand.”  When the rain comes down, the house on the sand washes away and the house on the rock stands still.  I thought I had my house built upon a rock, but the rock seems to have been sand after all.

I am seeing that the sand is the little “t” truths I believed in: people, organizations, beliefs.  Then one day, I learn that what I believed in is not what I thought it was and my house crumbles.  In the new state of freedom from structure, I find myself depressed and dysfunctional.  Eating for comfort and watching TV to distract myself from the confusion and betrayal of what I thought to be truth.

I’m not happy in that state, however.  I like to be happy so I expand my awareness to find something to give me structure.  I think of how I learned to keep my balance when walking blindfolded across the log over the water at Trackeschool.  I reached out with my awareness to “imagine” feeling the landscape around me since I couldn’t see with my physical eyes.  That worked on the log, maybe that technique will work for me now.

As I expand my awareness, I pray to know how to overcome my depression.  I pray to understand, and to know how to deal with this unsettling change.  As I was pray, I see in my minds eye the art I made depicting my relationship with one of my sisters.  That piece of art is a series of lines coming together and swirling around each other in great excitement and joy.  Seeing that image delights me.  My mind begins to wander to other art I have been wanting to create.  I feel more joy.

I remember doing an exercise at Tom Brown Jr.’s Trackeschool where we were asking The Creator what our personal vision in life was.  The first answer I received was, “Don’t forget about your art.”  The answer surprised and puzzled me because I thought my personal vision had more to do with learning to survive in the wilderness.   I revisited the importance of art for me.

I find it fascinating how much I depend on structure in my life.  Structure feels like the house I live in.  Or perhaps the house is an interface to my journey in the physical; a way to move through this physical experience with a measure of safety, like a hermit crab carrying around a little shell .  Then the house crumbles, the shell is outgrown, and a new structure is discovered through desperate reaching.  I wonder if one day I will no longer fall into dysfunction and I will exist in joy without the imagined structure . . .

OK, I think I am straightening all this out.

My “Paradise Petting Farm” website is found at http://www.paradisefarm.sitey.me   It is still under construction but you can see some of the things I am going to be offering.

This website, micheleballantyne.com , my WordPress site, will remain my blog place and my art place.

My “Survival Skills” website is under construction and will be for children and their families.  We will have friction fire workshops, debris huts, cordage, primitive pottery, camouflage, and awareness games including capture the flag in the dark using camouflage and two camps with fire pits for the team to sit around and guard the flag.  that game is all about stealth and being invisible, not about running or speed.  Really fun!

More later . . .

Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!

Tender ones.
Tender little ones.

Visions are evolving things.  As we journey through life we are drawn to things that interest us.  I have often wondered about my vision in life because my view of anything in the future, other than children, has always been Continue reading “Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!”