Friday, September 27, 2019

Cranial Herpes

Cranial Herpes

 The rash on my forehead had gotten worse in the past few months.

I’d tried a few homemade remedies before contacting the doctor: swabbing the rash  with a few driblets of morning piss, slathering it with swath of aloe vera gel, and finally, dabbing it with a couple of drops of tea tree oil, a particularly fitting remedy as the red patches were alive with small yellow pustules that looked suspiciously like spores of a fungal infection. To my eye, anyway.
With the dose of tea tree oil, the shit hit the fan. The rash spread like wildfire all the way down to my left eye-lid, threatening to mar the beauty of my baby blue eyes.
I decided it was time to see the skin doctor. The itch had become unbearable.
Miraculously, the doctor had a free appointment available that same day.
I meditated before I left, dousing the malady in white light and peace, a last attempt to heal the sickness from within. It was a difficult meditation. Interspersed between the heavenly thoughts of light, love, and eternal bliss, came images of the bubonic plaque, lung cancer, and demise. Hard to find peace when the mind is running wild with thoughts of Seventh chakra eczema.
With a dour look, the doctor invited me into his office, glanced at the top of my head, and asked if I’d been sleeping on a sandpaper pillow. I told him a was a yogi, accustomed to sleeping on a bed of nails, but my pillow was of purest Scandinavian down.
He didn’t smile.
When I told him that I’d slipped in headstand and maybe burned my forehead on the carpet, his mood remained gruff.
Afraid to lose my captive audience, I sobered and I informed him I first noticed an outbreak 30 years ago and thought it had something to do with the makeup I was using.
“But, I haven’t been using makeup for some time now,” I added. (I probably should have mentioned I was a stage performer and not a crossdresser at that point, but it slipped my mind.)
“Oh,” he replied. His face remained as if sculpted in stone.
“So. What is it? Please be honest. A rash, fungus infection, the outbreak of the bubonic plague?”
No smile. Obviously, a no-nonsense Prussian.
“Cranial herpes?” My last try.
“Herpes usually doesn’t show up on the crown of the head.” His reply was somber, as was to be expected.
“Here,” he said, handing me the prescription he’d just written. “If it’s not better in 3 months, make another appointment.”
If it’s not better in three days, I’m finding another doctor, I thought. The guy hadn’t even leaned in for a closer look, hadn’t seen the yellow pustules that had ruined my mediation, never considered I’d had the thing for a longer period of time.
I looked down at the prescription. “Can I use the cream to treat the white crust that keeps showing in my ears?” White scaly flakes dropped out of ears whenever I scratched for as long as I could remember. Probably eczema. Or, psoriasis. Ear dandruff?
“I doubt it. Like the rash, that’s also a reoccurring symptom of old age.”
Old age?
Which meant, what? That I’d been old for over 30 years now and hadn’t realized it?
The next day, I contacted a dermatologist and made an appointment. I had to wait six months, but it was worth it.
Much to my relief, it had nothing to do with old age at all.
Simply a mild form of skin cancer.
Glad to report it’s all cleared up now. But there’s a suspicious-looking pimple on my left butt cheek that came up last week. Itches like hell, but what can you do?






Sunday, September 22, 2019

My beliefs create my reality.

The power of thoughts


The age-old dilemma of the chicken and the egg has been solved: If this world is just an illusion, there is no chicken, nor is there an egg. If I create my own reality, they both came into existence at the same time namely, when I thought myself into existence. And, if that's not true? 

Before I answer that question, I have another question: why the hell am I pondering this ridiculous question at all? I have a more apt question to brake my head with: am I getting older because I think I am getting older, or am I thinking I am getting older because I feel like I am getting older? 

Someone wise told me that life is what we believe it to be. Rich people believe they are rich, poor people believe they are poor. If a rich man loses his money, chances are, he'll end up rich again within a few years because he thinks he is rich. Same thing with the poor man. He wins the lottery and within two years his reality looks just like it did before he won the jackpot.
 
Why and when did the rich man start thinking he was rich? Certainly not in his present incarnation because I've been doing that ever since I realized being a bird in a golden cage wasn't a consideration anymore. First, because no one with money would choose to stick a bird with my particular plumage his golden cage, and second, ever since I came out, I've had an abject fear of being caged in. 

So, the rich man must have started affirming wealth many incarnations prior to this one. But when? (Which came first: the chicken or the egg?) 

More to the point, though: when did I start to get old? If thoughts create our reality, (and I am sure they do), when did I start thinking I am old? Was it when my eyesight started to fail that I thought, "I am getting old?" Or did I start thinking, "I am getting old!" and then my eyesight started to get weaker? 

If I am what we think I am, if thoughts and beliefs form my present reality, when did I change the belief "I am young," to, "I am old?  

Philosophy would say, "You are not getting older...your body is. And your body is not who you are." In that same vein, "I am as God created me, (eternal spirit), and, no matter what I think or believe, I can't change that." But I can pretend to change it. And that pretension is what created this finite world in the first place. It is this level of being that is made real by my thoughts and beliefs. And that's where I believe the problem is.
SO, again: which came first: the symptoms of old age that gave rise to the belief I am getting older, or the belief that gave rise to the symptoms?

I don't remember consciously asking for any of the debilitating symptoms of old age, and I didn't start consciously believing that my body was aging until I experienced the symptoms.  

I am putting this question out into the Universe, expecting a plausible answer in the very near future:
Which came first? The egg or the egghead? 




Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Affirmations


Affirmations.



I’m not a real fan of affirmations. From the age of 21 to 35, I affirmed a full head of hair: I saw myself in front of the mirror combing my hair, in my head heard compliments about the unusual luxuriousness, set aside enough money for the most expensive hair products and beauty salon. I visualized it and then let it go, as I was instructed, confident the Universe would take over. And, I still went bald. Come forty, I affirmed eternal youth, unbounded riches, world fame.  I am at the age now to tell you, ‘It didn’t work.’ That’s one of the benefits of growing older: you can look back over your life and see what worked and what didn’t.  

I’m looking for something that works a hundred percent of the time, not just now and then, and when it does work, it’s mostly for everyone else but me.

Your run of the mill affirmation is a lot like goal setting, (see previous blog post),: sometimes it works, sometimes not. ‘I will be a millionaire before I am thirty,’ both a goal and an affirmation, sometimes it comes out good, sometimes it’s a waste of time. And who’s to know which is which until push comes to shove and frustration is all we have to show for all our industriousness?

This is not to say that affirmation does not have its place, so long it remains in the present moment. Which is shitty because that means I can’t plan on having a million or a best-selling book sometime in the nebulous future. The upside is: I can affirm happiness in the present moment and feel the positive effect of that affirmation no matter what the future has in store for me.

I am happy. I am sad. Both states of being that have little to do with our outside circumstances. Certainly, things outside myself can happen to make me either sad or happy, but this is only on the level of form, not on the level of my true being. I can be happy in any situation if I realize that I have the power to affirm my happiness in any given situation.

True happiness is a choice, not a result of an outside circumstance. When I finally realized that, I realized I had an incredibly valuable tool in my hand to see me through the doldrums of anything this world could work on me.

Except for the Trump administration. I’m still working on that…

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Intention


Intention




One of the oldest and most seldom used tools for transformation (and staving off the ‘yuchs’ of growing older) is intention.



I learned how important intention is years ago in the est training, a consciousness-expanding seminar, (back in the 1970s), that was to spirituality what the pill was to sexuality. (Which doesn’t mean I set it into action. Not as often as the pill, anyway.)


But, as the whiskers of my Tom Selleck mustache began to go gray and anxiety entered the scene, I began grabbing again at the tools I learned so long ago. Amongst them all,  Intention has turned out to be the most powerful.


Setting your intention is as crucial to living a fulfilled life as fiber and chondroitin are to smooth movement. At least, once you reach a certain age. Without these essentials, we are bound to suffer constipation, joint pain, and a sense of purposeless.


Voicing our intention is a way to gain a more power over a world we seem to be losing control over.  Although intention may not create my reality, it does set it glowing in shades of gold and magenta.


So what exactly is intention?


For years, I thought intention and goals were synonymous. Then I noticed the difference: goals got me inspired, but only until I completed them. Kind of like those three weeks before Christmas followed by the gigantic let down the day after.  Whereas intentions got me inspired and kept me inspired so long as I continued to keep the intentions alive.


So, what is the difference between the two?


Goals are a destination: I am going to have the most toys on the block before I turn thirty. A goal is a future projection of the mind: I am going to be good so I will go to Heaven. But goals won’t necessarily keep you satisfied and fulfilled for very long afterward: I am going to marry with the most handsome man in the bar.


Intentions are lived each day, independent of whether you reach the goal or destination: I intend to be filled with fun, creativity, excitement while achieving the most toys on the block. Intentions set the timbre of the energy you hold when moving towards something you want: I intend to experience greater and greater levels of magic, fun, creativity, as I become eligible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Intentions are about the inner relationship with yourself: I intend to feel satisfied with myself even if the most handsome man goes home with someone else. 


Goals are focused on the future.

Intentions are in the present moment.

At the beginning of my yoga class, I often remind my yogis to set their intentions for the upcoming hour. (‘I see divine purpose in everything I do.’ ‘ I intend to feel satisfied no matter what happens.’ ‘I intend to stay awake in savasana and not to snore.’) By formulating their intentions before class, they are able to turn MY class into THEIR class.


(As most of my classes drop into chaos after 45 minutes or so is proof no one listened to my good advice, least of all myself always forgetting to set a positive intention until after class! 😉)


Which leads me to my next subject: taking responsibility for your life.


But that is a completely other keg of beer, as we say over here in Bavaria. 😉


Sunday, September 8, 2019

How to get and remained inspired


How to get and remain inspired



First, find a space to get inspired. Periodically, step out of the chaos of the world. Allow yourself to discover what joy and peace solitude has to offer. True inspiration is born in the holy space of silence and to get silent, you have to be in a place that fosters peace

Second, redevelop a love for reading, then read because you enjoy it, not because you hope it will make you a better person, appear more intelligent, or might impress someone along the way.

Learn to play an instrument, but for the love of learning, for the love of making your own kind of music, not because you want to become an accomplished musician. Studies show that learning an instrument improves long-term memory and alertness. 

Start a journal, write a book. Or, eight. This is what I’m doing. When I first started, there was the thought my writing might lead to fame, fortune, and all the other traps that lead to dissatisfaction in this world. That was the voice of the ego that wanted to keep me dissatisfied. Now I write because I love to write. Certainly, it is nice when someone reads what I write, but that has become less and less important, and I have become more and more satisfied.

Find an art class. Is there anything more inspiring than art? And, with the advent of Modern Art, the less shame we have to feel about creating something others don’t enjoy. Remember: creativity is like a muscle: the more you use it the stronger it gets.

Practice yoga at home. What has kept me on the path of yoga more than anything is realizing Yoga is a journey, not an accomplishment. I’ve devoted most of my adult life to yoga. Granted, that sounds a lot easier said than done. But I had the good fortune to discover yoga back at a time when it had little else to offer but joy and peace. Now, thanks to the yoga boom, people believe that, with yoga you can become rich and famous, impress your friends and family, and be better (or worse) than the next guy. The good news is, there are so many books and videos about yoga now, you don’t have to be a part of this scheme. Find a yoga style you feel comfortable with and have fun. Forget classes. Those just lead to competition and the feeling that you are the low guy on the totem pole. Discover yoga is so much more than just a series of postures. It’s a whole lifestyle, tailored cut to your needs. Take it slow, but make it regular.

Certainly, there are many other ways to get and remain inspired, like watching cat videos or drinking espresso, but the message here is to do something that is satisfying, an undertaking that is a joy to engage in. Do what you want in the way you want to do it. If you’re authentic in this way that in which you engage with feel fresh and original: inspiring.
And last, but not lease: Let your life be your message. Stay inspired so that you may inspire others

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Discovering the power of Inspiration

Discovering Inspiration


Dance inspired me the way nothing else in life had. It supplied constant challenges and offered many rewards, the least not being a way to see the world and have enough money left over to pay the rent. Dance was my first passion, a love I still pursue, albeit without the vim and vigor of 40 years ago. 

When the gigs began to dwindle, I dropped into a blue funk. Try as I would, I could find nothing to replace the sense of completion and satisfaction dancing brought me. The depression lasted eight years. In that time, I tried everything to find a field of endeavor that could restore the enthusiasm and joy I felt when dancing. Nothing came close. 

Through much introspection, I discovered it wasn’t just dance that had kept me inspired, but also youth. Youth has a way of igniting the flame of inspiration even without our being aware of it. Which meant, until thirty or so, I’d never really been without inspiration. Everything was new until then, and newness sparks inspiration like nothing else. Which is the probable reason we shop, love Christmas and birthdays, and new love affairs.

 It’s why Capitalism works so well. 

But it is only a matter of time until I felt nothing was new. Been there, done that; s that all there is: a question that arose about the same time as the dance career dwindled. 

I’m sharing this as I am sure it is what many of us go through. Especially those of us who experienced the magic of dance.

Eventually, the dark cloud lifted as I applied myself to deepening and sharing my knowledge of yoga. The flame was rekindled and, although it has never burned as brightly, it supplied me with the enthusiasm to enjoy my life once again. 

At that time, I still believed my endeavors had to lead to a satisfactory end: a day of hard work to be enjoyed at the end of the day when the chores were done; a new career that might lead to something even more gratifying; a bright shiny light at the end of the tunnel; Heaven because I’d mastered the trials of life.

Oops!



Guess what? The goal is no longer the motivation to stay on the road; the road is the goal. Enjoying what I do has become more important than the outcome of my endeavors. 

I am writing this blog because I enjoy writing and sharing with others what I have learned, what I am learning. I read a book because I love to read, not to get to the end of the book, just to start another, then another, ad infinitum. I teach yoga, not to become rich or famous, but to see the look of confusion and pain in my student's faces. In short, I live to live, not to die.

The clue is to find something that so captivates us that the effort we put out becomes the inspiration we are seeking.
A list follows.

Twas the month before Christmas

I’m not a real fan of Christmas, especially now that I found out that Jesus was a Pisces and not a Capricorn. Yes, according to ...