Things to Accomplish in 2017

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Here’s a list of my goals for 2017, broken down into smaller goals; I repeat some goals from “Three Goals for Age 29“, and”bucket list“, but there are also some new ones. This is stickied so I see it regularly, but feel free to read it.

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Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine

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A few weeks ago, I found a Groupon for acupuncture, the deal was amazing, I was craving novelty/adventure, thought that a few treatments would satisfy this urge without violating the law, and got a few treatments, not expecting once.

Now I’m completely amazed.

In the last three weeks, I have

*lost 12 lbs (caveat: a large portion of this is water, but I don’t seem to miss it, either, and there’s also my recent adherence to a decent vegetarian diet & regular exercise is involved in this, but still.)

*less joint pain

*lost my generally ever-present anxiety and feel like the energy inside my head is different.

*improved circulation

*have achieved this without the use of herbs

* Started to realize exactly how crappy I felt before I started going, now intensely more hopeful about the future.

The diagnostic process in Chinese medicine is a bit different than Western medicine. An acupuncturist looks at your tongue, and takes your pulse from three points in your wrist, and looks at your medical and personal history. I guess there’s an individual level of response to treatment, my accupuncturist tested mine by having me turn my neck to the right  (neck stiffness is a thing with me) and pressed a point in my right wrist and the tension in my neck was about 70% gone. Doing this on max aggression level, twice a week so, this should all be pretty interesting.

What is really interesting to me is that the core of this practice is based on balancing your internal energy, and balancing the way your body interacts with itself, and maintaining personal habits that promote well-being. Essentially, this is built on the taoist principle of yin and yang, and too much of either will cause certain types of imbalances and eventually disease, and if one organ system is overly affected, it will throw the other ones out of balance.

There’s also a theory of balancing elements in a person, they use 5 representing earth, water, fire, metal, and earth, and the seasons-late summer is considered its own season.. I’m overly water-y and earthy, apparently, lol, and have long-lasting imbalances/childhood illnesses, so while my primary issues are my stomach and my liver, everything else is out of balance because they’ve been over-working.

Also have a cold, damp consistitution, the early stages of “cold bi”, which is a form of arthritis (again, split into 5 categories), “blood defiency”, so I hope that my health continues to improve. Also being treated to help me quit smoking- not a lot of progress with this yet.

The clinic I go to uses a Japanese style of acupuncture, and they insert needles in my wrists, feet, knees, and ankles more than anywhere else…they do some insertations in points in the back, and the needles they use are tiny and fresh every time. 🙂

Healing reactions/acupuncture hangovers are kind of a thing here. The first time I work, I ended up with a mild headache about a day and a half, and the 3rd time turned into some kind of massive peeing episode to the extent that my kidneys/lower back were sore for about 2 days afterward. Crazy stuff. There’s some minor stuff too- draining sinuses and increased salivation (they’re opening my “water channel”, I guess).

Also trying some weird hippie crap like alkalinized water, been eating more fresh vegetables vs. frozen, actually eating in the morning (usually have a stomach ache when I wake up, get sick if I eat too early…now I eat half a grapefruit, wait for 15 minutes and then I’m good to go?)

Cut most dairy, besides occasional small bits of cheese, only occasional caffeine, ginger tea is the love of my life, no meat….things are good. Trying to eat more often and early in the day, but that’s so against my nature, so it’s a work in progress. Got myself down to eating cooked vegetables when I get home from work at night.

I don’t know. I like the idea of looking outside of western medicine and it’s super linear cause and effect, I’m reading “Between Heaven and Earth”, right now, on traditional chinese medicine, which explains the differences between the two different approaches-the author is a western medicine doctor, who went to China with a team of other doctors in the 70’s to look into this, so I’d consider her to be a pretty decent source.) Really love how it’s built into a philosophy, really, on living in harmony with self, others, and nature.

Hey

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Been thinking about closing this blog lately, not really sure if I want to keep this evidence thing running, if you want to keep in contact with me my best email right now is tundraghostsATgmail.com.

Don’t really like my private thoughts/large drug-fueled portions of my life being online, most of my quandries in my life now are the other people in it, writing about that makes me feel like an asshole, and just writing about me makes me feel self-absorbed-not to mention I’m a little old lady at this point, so how exciting is me contemplating my limited choice in footwear is like…well, that can’t be exciting.  What do.)

I do adore everyone that I’ve ever spoken to here, wish you the best in life, really met some interesting people.

Otherwise I’d be changing the focus more to books, sometimes poetry, and my recent culinary adventures, not sure of my path at the moment.

(Used to cook in my early 20s, then ever-changing living situations and homelessness rendered me generally non-cooking, now I’ve discovered that I can follow recipes and think I’m god, basically.

No really, up until recently my diet was chicken breasts, frozen vegetables, and rice, with a variety of spices…I feel like my life has exponentially upgraded.)

Getting back into yoga and meditation finally, vegetarian now,  started smoking again, need to quit that…yeah, I’m boring now, lol.

Don’t really like a large portion of my life being open on the internet anymore, kind of suck at keeping up on things here lately…

xx

Joss

“No Self, No Problem” Anam Thubten

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“As human beings we are deeply insecure and we do not know who we truly are. Of course this problem does not show on the surface of our lives. We are always telling ourselves who we are, based on this notion that we are separate from everything else. This sense that “I am separate” is the ground of our sense of self. It is reinforced by various false identities that we cling to, notions that “I am this” or “I am that.” Whatever beliefs we have about ourselves are just another extension. Most of the time when we look around, we immediately see that our surroundings are validating these false identities. For this very reason, it is a challenging endeavor to deconstruct this illusion of self. Every time we look into our mirror we might have some thought about ourselves. Each of these thoughts adds up. They become the conceptual bricks we use to keep building this illusory castle of self. Yet, there is a suspicion that this notion of self might be very fragile and transient, and this thought is silently lurking somewhere in our consciousness. Most of the time this suspicion is not brought into the light of awareness, but if it is, some deep, inner wisdom will arise without choice. Our suspicion of the fragility of this false notion of self can go in one of two directions. In general it becomes a source of fear, anxiety, and insecurity. We often see people who are fearful and overly defensive when it comes to their own identity. We ourselves tend to become fearful if our identity is threatened. But at other times the suspicion can go another way. When that happens, it can be a life-changing revelation that can lead us to the realization of the highest level of truth. This idea is not some new, lofty theory. It is timeless wisdom that has been realized by many people in human history. Buddha taught this wisdom, and in his tradition it is called anatman, or “no self.” Anatman, or “no self,” is the term used to mean that one has seen through this false sense of self. One has seen that this false sense of self is merely an identification with one’s roles in life. It is just a mask, not the truth.”

Selves

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So I finished reading Waking Up, by Sam Harris. Would reccommend it, it’s less a pure “spirituality without religion” manual as perhaps a way to lure pure, innocent atheists into looking at secularized Buddhism.

Which means it ended up being more up my alley than I was anticipating.

The book mentions that the first part of of our brain that becomes “conscious” is the right side of our brain, which is non-verbal. The left, language-baring part of our brain activates later and eventually dominates the other part of our brain…

so essentially, what could be our actual self is eventually shoved into a corner and falsely replaced by a chatty asshole that feels the need to endlessly describe and create a false storyline for everything that occurs. Ever.

Huh.

Relatedly, I have found out that I yell at myself just as angrily for forgetting to check the mail when I’m doing my laundry as I used to about getting high and completely screwing up my life. Then I start laughing and feel insane.

Hahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Otherwise I’ve still been trying to figure out the buddhist soul thing, and keep feeling like I get close to understanding it, and snapping back to not. Is that even possible?

Essentially what is “me” is constructed of a mixture of other materials, generations of other people’s decisions, and a heavily flucuating mindset and a weird little durable body.

And we’re all as weird and complex. Sometimes I hook into the feeling, sometimes, at work, that there’s hundreds of us hooked up to computers, having our own internal dialogues and having our own quiet battles, while parroting the words of a human being we are never going to met, but will know intimately for a few hours.

Mindblowing.

Love just seems impossible to me now, considering how we’re all just kind of isolated in these mind/body units that are not really capable of understanding ourselves, and have no chance of completely understanding the world around us or the other people in it, no matter how hard we try.

Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson

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Will you believe me when I tell you there was kindness in his heart? His left hand didn’t know what his right hand was doing. It was only certain important connections had been burned through. If I opened up your head and ran a hot soldering iron around in your brain, I might turn you into someone like that.