Tag Archives: intensity

Dealing with Adversity when You Feel A LOT

 

I love naps, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger 2013.
I love naps, in the thought book, by Marie D. Tiger 2013.

 

It’s been a bit quiet for a while here on the blog. I have been dealing with some suprising and sudden changes. So I thought this blog post could be about dealing creatively with adversity.

What helps?

– Allow yourself to feel everything, uncensored, no matter how conflicting, crummy, hateful, wallowy, self-pitying or bitter the thoughts may seem to your rational mind. Let the feelings move. You do this by simply observing and feeling. When you feel tempted to judge yourself, go back to sensing what your ear feels, what you see around you in the room, how the soles of your feet move on the floor or in your shoes.

– When your thoughts are racing over hurful comments or rehashing what has happened over and over in a hamsterwheely fashion, choose a word that’s neutral to you and doesn’t awaken any strong feelings (oatfield, cucumber, rice or truck work for me) and repeat it to yourself, fast, over and over again. This reboots the thinking process for a while. You may need to do this a few times to change tracks.

– Allow many versions of reality to be true at the same time. The adversity you are facing may be a closing door and an opening window to a new opportunity, at the same time as it pisses you off.

– Take lots of naps, use all of your relaxation techniques and tools, read uplifting books that you can connect with, listen to angry music, break a few dishes in the sink, watch movies where people go through big challenges and come out on the other side.

– Move your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, running, dancing, walks or horseriding. Your body wants to help you get through this.

– If the adversity you’re facing pushes your money buttons, try two things: Write a to do list about everything you need to do financially, the bills you need to pay, the people you need to contact, everything. Then take a time out. When panic hits, look at the to do list and reassure yourself that you are taking the situation seriously and responsibly. Then, with a conscious choice, move your awareness to your now moment and your basic needs. Are you bodily safe? Is your belly full? Do you need to sleep? Take care of your immediate needs and reassure yourself that this moment, you are in a safe space.

– Ask for support. Dare be vulnerable. Say no to obligations first and then share as much as you want about what has happened and how you feel about your situation in this moment. People will support you more than you can ever believe.

– To the people closest to you, describe what you are doing to cope. Sometimes we look perfectly competent on the outside, although every moment is a struggle. When you tell your loved one what you are doing to remain active solving problems and not crashing, it is easier for them to support you in loving yourself, because the inner work you’re doing becomes visible to them.

– Remember that your point of power is in the present. No matter what has happened, right now you can choose to be your own friend. You can appreciate yourself, take care of yourself and let yourself feel whatever it is that is happening in you.

– Last but not least, remember that you can always draw, paint, write, mold, sing, dance, vocalize or in other ways express what is happening inside of you. The mere act of getting it outside of yourself can give you clarity.

 

The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.
The Terrifying Unknown. thought book 2013, by MDT.

 

Do any of these tips resonate? Is there anyone you know, who is facing difficulties who could find this blog post useful?

 

Permission to BE

 

No more living in fragments, thought book 2013, by MDT.
No more living in fragments, thought book 2013, by MDT.

I was just hugging my husband and started laughing. While he was talking about his new electric grill, injecting some kind of marinade into the meat he is going to prepare for Midsummer’s Eve & the price of syringes, I was thinking about the phenomenon of self-harm, the societal fear of and taboo of death without which I think we would all be better off & which shade of blue I’m going to use to paint water. The absurdity of these topics cracked us up.

An experience of weirdness, of being some kind of freak, has always been a part of how I feel in the world. One reason for that are these great expanses of contrast. Suicide, death, anger, joy, dreams, shame, patience, pea soup, making dreams come true – it all fascinates me. But it’s frowned upon, to talk about these. Openly. So I used to live life in fragments, always picking up the sliver that best fit the situation and people at hand. Because what would they think of me, if they only knew?

For a long time I thought I should learn to not care what people think of me, which seemed completely impossible to accomplish. I don’t do that any more. I will always care. These days, I’m just learning to care the most about what I think of me.

What are the fragments of your life, if you have any? What would life look like if your cared the most about what you think of you?

It’s a Rollercoaster

Rollercoaster, thought book 2013, by MDT.
Rollercoaster, thought book 2013, by MDT.

I drew this one day when the gazillion feelings I was experiencing felt like a bit much. Like eating a steak, a chicken salad with feta, then three pastries, one chocolate cake and so on. Too much with such variation and intensity that my whole body was spinning. But then I realized, I can put it all into my creativity. Boom! Relief.

 

No more.

 

From the thought book 2002, by MDT.
From the thought book 2002, by MDT.

Why do I keep tormenting myself with the thoughts

of people rejecting me?
Is it to keep myself in check,
is it to manipulate,
is it to subordinate my self-trust?
Why keep scratching at the open wound?
Is there healing in that,
or is the intent something else?
I call you on that now, Sweetie.
I see what you’re doing
Stop.
No more. Enough now.
It matters not.
But what you say to yourself does.
I love your laughter, as it keeps
painting audible
droplets of joy in the air.
I love your irreverence,
when you set the energy a-move.
I love your compassion
when you speak up for someone in pain.
Your fear of rejection
Is. an. inside job.
Time to stop setting your power
outside yourself.
Just stand strong in your safe space.
Keep on breathing.
You have encountered much bigger pain than this one!
But we’re getting close to the core now.
So keep on breathing.

 

Steady, Now

You.
Hear me snoring in the night.
Gather me in your arms,
despite the drool.
Bring me Nepalese take out when I grouch,
leave me be with my beer and tv show.
When I am cranky
you look at me without flinching
Kind warm blue laser gaze.
“Don’t worry, stupid week will end sometime.”
You love the wild child with
snake ringlet hair.
The tight lipped martyr in the kitchen,
killing the frying pan.
Geysir energy insatiable orgasm glutton
warm woman in your arms.
You set the washing machine on timer
so I can’t take my fury out on our clothes
Extend your support
firmly, quietly
your way.
I’m sorry for the times my intensity
engulfs our love,
for the times I get lost in the maze of my mental chatter,
for breaking the china
& for manhandling utensils
making anger-music.
Thank you, Beloved,
for the spaciousness of your love.
When I am
free falling through a universe
that has no end
Loving you
steadies me.

 

Oh, But Waiting Sucks Anyway…

Life and death art

 

In the heart of paradox

 

Intensity is born in contrast

love-hate, despair-hope, vulnerability-hardness,

 

Opposites make up a school for those on

 

the fast track of creation.

 

Life Art

2013_palette

 

So when the world is going crazy, make art.
When you are going crazy, make art.
When the mind is dying, make art.
When those in power fall down, make art.
When the intensity is getting the better of you, scream.
and. make. art.
When stuff is falling from the sky,
radiation is polluting the water,
the earth is quaking,
make art.

Making art moves energy. Making art flows intensity.
Making art brings relief, helps us breathe.
So the next time anxiety grips you, sorrow moves you, terror paralyzes
you, joy wakes you, exuberance makes you bounce – make art;
your way.

Your life, your art, life art.

Intensity

From the Thought Book, by Marie D. Tiger
From the Thought Book, by Marie D. Tiger

The more aware I am of my shadow,
the more I dare to let the rock roll inside of me
It’s banging some delightfully loud tin walls
Right now. My resistance is loud and in your face.

The same can be said about my joy.
Intense like a wet hound dog jumping in your lap,
a berserk stallion charging
and lately, this amazing dragon stretching her scales,
driving me up the wall with her ferocity and calm deadliness.

But I guess a spiritual path that started as a search
for a way out of agonizing pain,
Is going to be a tad intense.
Be it as it may,
intensity in this virago has come to stay.
As is calm, tenderness, warmth and solid steel.

The Battle of the Dark Horse (2009)

From the Thought Book, by Marie D. Tiger
From the Thought Book, by Marie D. Tiger

One little sperm.
Invisible to the eye,
intangible in the crevices of my body.
Yeah, let’s open the door to another child.
Let’s allow a sibling for our golden son

From the start, I should have known.
The universe had something in store…
The arrival of our first son,
had shaken loose my identity, rocked my world.
I was already a mother – a second one should be a “natural continuation”,
Right?

Oh wrong. So wrong.

Okay – first child is born.
The mother (that’s me) is thrown into the most intense physical experience in her life,
stripped of her social group
locked inside four walls with someone needing her 24/7
her physical body is used for food, closeness, gestation of the psyche of a human being
she loses her identity and becomes “The Mother of _____________”

all the while

the traumas of her own parents are coming in for a rerun
she has to learn new skills by the minute
everything is now,
because baby changes every minute
and sleep deprivation is a fact.

enter second child

my heart is blasted open by the arrival of another child
who doesn’t sleep more than two hours at the time
I relive the past,
comforting my desperate son
nurturing my infant daughter
loving my husband
and sensing the increasing alienation of my friends and extended family

having a child is old news
the apple truck that has hit the shack I called my life
goes unnoticed by everyone else
(who asked you to breed like a rabbit anyway)
the support, affirmation, understanding and leeway that was there
when my son was born
is wearing thin, so thin

as am I.
when I read my notes, I see bliss wafting between the lines
like a breeze with notes of coffee on it
a crisp morning

Yet there is
sleep deprivation
never ending work, night and day
We close the ranks
We work it, work it
I write like a mad woman,
he goes to the gym, never missing a beat

I wear out. Most friends stop calling

Have you ever lived your heaven and hell
on two levels at the same time?
The heaven of a trusting girl baby
curled against my stomach
her body warmth singing safe loved safe loved safe loved
The hell of being so tired I can barely keep my eyes open and
knowing it will only go on for two years or so

and I have to enjoy every moment, because time is fleeting
that is 365 plus 365 days and heaven knows how many hours
Have to. keep. my eyes. open.

Do the most impossible job on earth
while keeping my marriage together
the word friendship being stripped of all its meaning

The year of 2009 I found my rage.
After years in therapy, the dark horse appeared in my days
taking me to battle
The battle of not hurting the ones I love
the battle of shutting the door to people who had said they loved me
(but wanted wanted wanted wanted wanted incessantly)
the battle of working myself to sanity
of not turning myself into drugs, psychiatrists, authorities outside of myself

the battle of trusting myself
the battle of trusting myself
the battle of trusting myself

So. It is normal to feel depressed if you get sleep in stretches of two hours for months.
It is normal to feel rage when you are in trouble and are denied help.
It is normal to not have energy for therapy, if you care for three people 24/7.
Just for the record.

I didn’t care one bit for who didn’t understand me
or my choices, or my thoughts.

I keep resisting the changes I have wrought, my experience of being a victim

and the strong creatorship that exists between every emotion and every thought
of the year 2009.

I keep looking at the names of friends and family that I have shut out
and I. don’t. understand.

But I would choose again. The same way.
I keep turning back to the sensations inside of me that
have the presence of truth. Are neither thought or emotion.
This is the way to go.
This is the unknown.
This makes no sense. I trust it.
For the first time in my life I understand the sentence:
“Sell your certainty and buy bewilderment.”

I used to think
Who the fuck wants bewilderment?!
Well I don’t fucking like uncertainty or ambiguity any more than I used to.
But I’m buying it with all my energy,
investing in it.
Again and again it takes me where I want to be.

I’ve written a poem like this in 1996.
This is a sequel.
Once again, my life has crashed and burned, leaving
only the essential.
Traveling with essence is not a bad way to go.
So here we go! OH mama.

Dakini’s Bliss

tamperevaritiso

I walk in the world, dragging my little paraiba case
with the stickers
and the paints
and the brushes
and the masking tape
Feeling everything, it being far too much
as always.

Delighting, irritating, triggering, moving
the crowd with my childishness
Shame still catches me by the throat
I pour it into the void
Self-hatred still chokes me
and I set it into the void gently
I fill the dish washer
I paint a painting
I scratch dirt off the floor
I pour it into the void

I love my husband
I feel lonely in his presence
I miss him so much
I move from my thoughts to my heart
content to just weep

Luminous dakini flying in the sky
help me keep on pouring
in the middle of my bewilderment