Friday, January 28, 2011

play by play analysis of a "stupid" day

I thought that I was having a "bad" day yesterday. But, I decided to check it out to see if in fact this was so. Here is a play by play account of the events that transpired and my analysis of the day.

:) This is a good thing = +1 point
:D This is a really good thing = +5 points
:-D laughing - 10 points
:'-) happy crying — priceless

:( This is not a good thing = -1 point

:0 A sense of awe
%-( confusion
=-O"Uh - oh"
;-(  "WTF"
$%&#$%(&*#^#%^ swearing aloud
#^#&^&$*&^%^$$ swearing silently
:-@ scream
:@ Exclamation "What???"
")(" shaking oneself violently with or without jumping about as if trying to shake water off one's body
It's...well I don't know just what time it was when I was rudely awoken, not once but five times, by the sounds of my FLIPPY & MAYA barfing  :(  :(  :(  :(  :( 

Oddly enough I can tell exactly which one is barfing and get a general location of the barfee and therefore the barf.  :)  :) 

I can feel Rod laying in bed as I am, as still as possible, in the hopes that the other will get out of bed first and have to deal with it. The long wait is on, each conscious of the other.
Rod had picked up his supplies the previous night and was sleeping in  :(
I was getting up earlier than normal to meet with Candy and go for a walk.  :(  :)

I have my socks on  :)
Slithering on my belly like a Marine on a mission I am able to locate all 5 barf-land mines WITHOUT walking through them :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

Maya had horked up 1 gigantic furball (picture her without eyes or legs and you have just about the size of the furball that Tiny Perfection can project forth)  :0 (equals  :)

Flippy aka Poopy Butt Girl doesn't spew forth anything but gloppy white slime  :(
Which means explosive diarrhea will be forthcoming  :(
Which means I'll have to cover my duvet (her kitty box of choice when she's percolating) with plastic  :(  
Which means days of vigilance ahead  :(

Maya looks relieved   :)
Flips belly feels bloated  :(

TALLY - 12 :(   11 :)  TOTAL = -1

Lost in thought as I drive along the QEW I see the right lane veering away from me and at that very moment I realize that I've missed my cut off  $$&^&*%&   :(

I know how to get back :)

On the return approach I'm not sure what the name of the exit is as I go by terrain and not signs. I get sucked into the Bermuda Triangle that Burlington Street exit (the same one that got me in this predicament in the first place) has become $%*%&&*&* ")(" :(

I know a different and more scenic way to get back :)  :) (I like scenery)

Though I am 30 minutes late Candy can still go for our walk, and we have a lovely one, the day is warm, she's brought some peanuts for con artist squirrels and we visit a lovely tree  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

TALLY - 2 :(   8 :) TOTAL = + 6
I am visiting my nursing home client later that afternoon  :)

My hot stone client wants to come 30 minutes early; it's a squeeze getting back in time but reluctantly I agree - I'm feeling pressured  :(

The stuff I've gotten out of the car doesn't include my keys, phone, or money all of which I've locked inside #%^&$$^*&**&  ")(" :( :( :(  

Oh well, I'll deal with it later - able to shift to positive state  :)

Session with my client is lovely & she is over the flu  :)  :)

Staff offers use of their phone and I can remember phone numbers of my brother and a friend  :)  :)  :) 

I have difficulty dialing out, need the help of staff member (not once, but 3 times, the last time she gives me a consoling pat on the back), I feel like a looser after all I'm the stress management specialist  :(  :(  :(  ;-(

My friend comes to the rescue, we call the CAA, go to her brother's to wait it out  :)  :)  :)

I realize I wont be back on time for the appointment  :(

I call my client's place of work, "Yes, she's here" says the guy on the phone  :)
No, she's not  :(
I have to call back and ask him for her cel #.  Before he'll give it out he asks, "How many daughters does she have?. (this is a good thing for security reasons and I agree with him)  $%^&*$^*$*  ")("

but...I'm sure it is 2 but if I'm not right he won't give me the number. Damn, what is the name of the daughter that I know? For the life of me I can't pull it out as it's one of those names in which the given and surname are interchangeable and her surname is different form her Mom.   :(  :(

I repeat my name and what I do. He's heard of me. He gives me her number.   :)   :) (bonus - it's nice to be recognized)

She answers, is disappointed, and "by the way I have a bladder infection"  :)  :(  :(

I can't treat someone in the early stages of a bladder infection so it's a good thing that I couldn't get home in time as she'd have come all the way out only to be refused treatment.  :)  :)  :)  :)

I visit with my friend and her brother while we enjoy rum infused home made egg nogg :)  :)  :)  :D

Later we watch the CAA guy jimmy the door  :)

I tip him the only money I have, which amounts to... 65 cents =-O ...I'm such a looser   :(

TALLY - 14 :(   27 :) TOTAL = + 13
Making the best of the situation I go to Shopper's Drug Mart with my friend.  :) 

Getting out of the car I realize that I don't have my glasses @#$%^@^^@  ")("  :-@ ")("  $%^#%&$^$&#%  :(

We decide to deal with this after we shop but I'm obsessed and become laden with tics (like a dog trying to shake off water after a long, long swim) that arise spontaneously at the thought of having to retrace my steps or worse go back to the nursing home where things have legs and walk away @$^##%^#$^#  ")("  :(  :(  :(

It's seniour's day.  Am I really that old? :@  ")("  :)  :(

After my friend's purchases are rung in she gets not only the seniour's discount but also a coupon for $10 as she's spent over $60. She really wanted the coupon and tried hard to get it.  :)   :)  :)

He then tells us that you have to be 60 to get seniour's discount, but we're not. Having already given her the discount he gives me one too.   :(   :)

I have purchased over $60 without even trying. I get a coupon  ;-(   :)

TALLY - 6 :(   7 :) TOTAL = +1

My friend decides to leave me to do the hunt on my own  :)  :)  (wise decision for us both)

They are not in her car, or mine, or the parking lot (a frail old couple approaches  %-(  as I'm crouched down snooping around their car which is parked in the same space mine had occupied  :(  :(  :(  :(

Upon leaving them I pat down my pockets again. Realizing I have an inside pocket in the inner jacket I dig in, deep down and lo and behold there they are!  But I feel like an idiot  :D  :(

TALLY - 5 :(   7 :) TOTAL = + 2

I drive home at my leisure with my glasses on so I am pleasantly aware of oncoming traffic, stop signs and the like   :)  :) 

I don my PJ's and rather than curl up into a little ball (my first inclination) Rod and I eat toasted bacon bagel sandwiches while we watch 3rd season of Boston Legal episodes 17 & 18. Our faith is restored in a previously great show that had suffered horrible writing for the previous episodes of that season   :)  :)  :)  :)  :D

I indulge, further obliterating the woes of the day, in watching 30 ROCK & OUTSOURCED  :-D  :D

TALLY - 0 :(   21 :) TOTAL = + 21

However, it may only be a matter of time  :(


TALLY - 1 :(   5 :) TOTAL = + 4
40 :(  to  86 :)  = + 46
Wow, my experience of "this is a good thing" things was way more than my "this is not a good thing" things; not bad.

And so, we bid adieu to — not the bad day I originally thought I was having — but, merely a "stupid" one.

May your days be fantastic, fabulous, great or at least good. And, if they can't be any of those may they merely be "stupid" but not bad.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Red faced eating humble pie moment

She brought a tiny chocolate bar & a special bottle of wine from a friend's vineyard before the other guest arrived...OK I'm officially a hypocrite.
My other guest brought the equally appreciated nothing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Social suicide - YOU ARE ENOUGH

I am just about to commit social suicide. But, before I do, I'd appreciate a moment of silence in honour of the death of my social life...

OK, here it goes...

Remember the days when you could just pick up the phone and invite people over at the drop of a hat? And they'd come make-upless in their comfiest duds? And you'd order in pizza, eat junk food: glow-in-the -dark-orange cheesies, potato chips (dunked in vinegar), popcorn, drink pop, watch movies and just hang out? Whatever happened to those days? Where did they go? Where did we go?

We grew up that's what. We entered into the age of responsibility rife with image consciousness and rules of etiquette that we call adulthood. Casual get togethers seem to have been relegated to childhood.

Why is it that we women can't just pull up a chair and relax without hauling food, drink and groceries to every gathering we attend for fear of being judged if we don't. The rare times my mother went to social gatherings she came complete with her rubber gloves packed into her purse ready to be pulled out the minute the tables got cleared. An extremely shy individual, she felt more comfortable in the kitchen than engaging in small talk but I think that some part of her felt duty bound to perform this service as she didn't feel worthy to be the recipient of hospitality.


Lately I have been politely requesting that people just bring themselves, nothing else, no: food, drink, flowers or gifts are necessary. Yet still people feel compelled to bring grocery loads. I really don't want them to bring anything. I truly want them to let go, kick back and just chill without apology. After all men do it all the time, why can't we?

Are we afraid that we'll look bad if we don't bring anything but someone else does? This is such an awkward moment for a host. What do I do? Not wanting to offend I thank the guest for the offering, yet this very action makes me feel like a hypocrite and seems to negate the sincerity of my request in the eyes of those who've brought the very thing I asked for - NOTHING.

In my effort to provide an effortless night for my guests my latest invite came with this request in bold letters, PLEASE ONLY BRING YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN BOOZE IF YOU WANT ANYTHING OTHER THAN WINE.

And, I still got, "Can I bring anything?"

"ARRGH are you yanking my chain!? NO!"

Can you believe that you are enough? That your presence makes me happy? That there really is no expectation; no keeping score?

We're going to order in pizza. Have some wine, Coke, coffee and cookies - no fuss, no muss, just simple. The company will be the focus. What my invite really means is - JUST BRING YOURSELF; YOU ARE ENOUGH.

In order to make people feel welcome I'm threatening to body search everybody at the door. Yup, that should just about put the nail in the coffin. Please do not send flowers, thank you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The 17 "R's" of Hypnosis

The 17 "R's" of hypnosis are:


What compels one to try hypnosis or self-hypnosis is the desire for change. We REFLECT on our life and become aware that we want something to be different which leads to more reflection until we establish what specifically we want and perhaps how to get there.

How will my life be affected when I achieve my goal? As a hypnotist we talk about the importance of establishing RAPPORT with clients, a feeling that we are in sync with each other, that we speak the same language and most importantly that they feel safe entrusting me with their very deepest aspirations. But, rapport also has to be established between you and your goal. Can you believe that it is doable? What are some possible consequences that go along with achieving your goal - positive and negative? At that point imagine that you have reached your goal; feel into it. How does it feel? Are negative feelings blocking its achievement? Upon further investigation do the cons outweigh the pros in the long run?

As we work through this stage we RELEASE a lot of stuff that is no longer necessary: old outdated concepts about ourself, misconceptions and misinformation. Sometimes even the initial goal needs to be released and REVISED. I had one teacher who said that when people tell you what brings them to hypnosis they are lying. It is a shocking, but true statement. We think we know what our goals are, but through inquiry and investigation often a shift in awareness is made in which we REVEAL the REAL goal hereto fore unimagined which can be a profound, empowering and life-transforming event.

Once our goals are revised, through the hypnosis process we enlist the power of suggestion, a RELAXED RECEPTIVE REPETITION of statements that succinctly incorporate all that we desire. Though one doesn't have to be relaxed in order for hypnosis to work, it helps. A beneficial side-effect of the practice of self-hypnosis is that through repetition of positive visualizations one becomes more relaxed and more receptive to the implantation of the suggestion in the subconscious mind. Attaining our goals become easier.

We REINFORCE the suggestion each time we repeat it through self-hypnosis and each time its impact plays out in our life. As we RECOGNIZE each little success (and it is often the little successes along the way that build to the biggie) that in itself is part of the REWARD and since we are motivated by the rewards of this practice a self-perpetuating cycle is set in place as confidence is gained.

As each goal is REALIZED we RESTORE ourself to all that we can be and RECLAIM happiness and enjoyment of our life. Simply put we feel REFRESHED and RE-ENERGIZED. 

And then it all begins anew.
FOR MORE POSTS ON HYPNOSIS AND SELF-HYPNOSIS see: hypnosis and self-hypnosis


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


She knelt
as she gazed
into the glimmering pond
which had drawn her near
by its purring, lapping sound.

Just below its surface
she caught a glimpse of a green, lily pad.
Ripples of sound emanated
from its blurred form
beckoning her to peer deeper and deeper
into its centre.

As she did
two amber spheres took form,
a nose sniffed,
a mane tossed,
and a tufted tail swished.

A splash broke the eerie twilight;
a golden lion climbed onto the bank,
shook drops from its glowing coat
and padded away
with nary a backward glance.

And now throughout the jungle night
night birds sing,
crickets chirp,
and a glimmering pond laps and sobs.

This "poem" began as a doodle (since tossed out) of a green form that... became a lily pad, that... took on amber eyes... and then my imagination took off from there. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. It evokes, for me, the mysterious mood of a Henri Rousseau painting.

I wrote this for an English course in 1986.
It has been re-worked into the form you see here.
copyright Nance Thacker 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Face Book "Friend"

The Dalai Lama Is a friend of mine.

Yes, you heard that right.

Actually, he's a Face Book "friend" of mine. I'm very selective as to who I allow to connect with me on FB. OK, he actually didn't ask me to be his friend but that's beside the point. Anyway...I don't play the numerous games that seem to have captured friends imaginations and I have become a FAN of exactly 2 things: Betty Blogger and Stories from the Yogic Heart. The former because it was part of a homework exercise for Betty Blogger's course and the latter because, even though my story is in it, it is a really inspiring book. I check out FB to see how my friends are doing and see the photos that they post.

It's so cool to go on to FB and see the Dalai Lama's lovely face smiling out at me announcing his entry. His latest entry was a timely one that appeared on Wed Jan 5th (entered at 5:25 in the morning no less; only THE Dalai Lama would be Face Booking at 5:25 a.m.) titled COUNTERING STRESS AND DEPRESSION. It was written on Dec 31/10 and published in the Hindustan Times, India, on Jan 3/11.

One of the many things about the article that gives me hope is his assertion that, "So long as we remember that we have this marvellous gift of human intelligence and a capacity to develop determination and use it in positive ways, we will preserve our underlying mental health."

He lost his freedom at 16, his country at 24 and has lived in exile for more than 50 years. Despite the heartbreaking news he hears from his homeland he still doesn't give up. What helps him is to cultivate the thought that (summarizing here):
  • If the situation/problem can be remedied there is no need to waste your energy in worry or letting yourself become overwhelmed by it, rather spend it on seeking its solution.
  • If there is no possibility for a solution or resolution; you can't do anything about it. "The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be for you."
But, before you can discern whether or not there is a resolution you have to:
  • confront the problem
  • take a realistic view
There is a famous quote that goes something like this "I've been through some really bad times in my life, a few of them actually happened." This comes to mind because more often than not it's not the actual event that causes pain but the stories we tell ourselves about it which create disturbing emotions, thoughts and mental events.
The first problem we need to confront is our compounding negative thought processes around the problem itself. Clearing the mental clutter around the problem allows for a clear, realistic view and enables us to confront the actual issue. We just have to:
Maya peeking out 
  • keep on clearing out the negativities 
  • while cultivating gratitude 
  • and concern for others 
  • and turn adversity into advantage
He believes that: 
  • the mind can be transformed
  • we can overcome disturbing emotions 
  • and achieve a sense of inner peace
Thanks so much to the Dalai Lama for this inspiring entry!

You might also be interested in checking out AwakeningChoice on Twitter.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mind Training in action

Cartoon copyright Nance Thacker 1991.
Click on image to enlarge
I have done yoga since I was 16. I've lead and presently lead and teach classes and workshops in: relaxation, stress management, meditation and hypnosis.  You'd think by now I'd be perfect...ha! This is definitely not the case as I have a particularly challenging mind and nervous system that seems drawn to bouts of depression and anxiety like a moth to a flame. And, this is precisely what makes me a good teacher. I know whereof I speak.

I observed the latest bout coming on through my TWEETS. It started subtly enough. A little awareness dawned on Dec 6th that my mind was becoming pretty busy with conflicting thoughts along with their attendant emotions. Envy followed around the 12th accompanied by that familiar feeling of self-loathing and the little voice that worms its way into my mind repeating variations on a theme: "you SHOULD: be better than you are, be more than you are, have accomplished more that you have". When these dominate I become lost in all of this S**T.

As I reclaim myself on the 14th and 15th I witness and become aware of worry, anger and other "negative" thoughts bubbling up and am able to catch the "inkling" before they develop further.

But somehow the scales tip and these negativities begin to take root, playing over and over. Samskaras (in western terms neural pathways) become entrenched in my brain; becoming my automatic default response to life. This vulnerable position ignites the "fight or flight response". I become spun, loose my centre, become hyper sensitive to the actions and emotions of my significant other and scramble in an effort to please others because I am so "beside myself" that I cannot please myself.

Without a centre no action "feels" authentic, my body, fuelled by the stress response, feels foreign. With no place to anchor me, action is without backbone, ineffective, inefficient; results are predictably erratic, unsatisfactory and sometimes chaotic and the world around me reflects my inner state.

In this state I am more susceptible to the judgements of others. In the heat of the moment tempers flare, arguments ensue, harsh words, that can never be taken back, are spoken. Arguments take on monumental proportions, consequences loom heavily in my mind as it goes into the deepest and darkest places as happened from the 19th to the 26th. Turbulent emotions rule and peak on the 28th when something commands me to STOP & BREATHE. 

In that most charged of moments I connect with calm. This is magical effect of mind training in action.

With the calm comes awareness that it is time for me to pull out, stop being the witness. I know this territory well enough. Take charge of my mind, shift focus and consciously apply mind training.

By the 31st I still feel emotions coursing through my body but my yoga asana practice delivers awareness of the still pond that resides within and it now extends beyond my time on my mat.

It is timely that I start anew with the New Year in bringing my mind training skills into practice. I don't allow the negative tapes to run. Evening mantra practice, replaces the "inner critic" and settles me into the receptive hypnogogic state where implantation is optimal. Negative self-judgment is countered by logical inquiry or silent mantra practice. Yoga practice and walking keep energy flowing evenly and discharge daily accumulated tension. I set the alarm 45 minutes before I have to get up, time in which to briefly scan my dreams and then BLAST MYSELF WITH POSITIVE SUGGESTIONS over and over during this especially receptive hypnopompic state.

I know the bout will return again. But, I also know that the calm, quiet centre resides within, all I need to do is breathe and feel the peace and tranquility.

For the New Year I wish you find access to that calm, quiet centre within.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Treasures in the most unlikely of places

As you can see, I was doing dishes the other day when suddenly I was moved to take this picture. I was doing the last bit of cleaning up the day after a great New Year's Eve shared with council members Glyn & Pam and their spouses. I was in a "good space" where all is right in the world; a moment of contentment. At that moment I realized how all these things I was washing give me great pleasure not only to look at but for the memories they hold.

We filled the crystal wine glasses, from my parents' collection, with champagne which we used to toast in the New Year. In my parents' day it was Sherry but no matter. A few Christmases ago  Rod and my Christmas gift to each other was this set of colourful plates to make our settings cheerful and fun. The white one tucked in behind we bought as a one off in Yorkville a few years prior, again a Christmas purchase. It was pricy, needs to be hand washed but is a lovely plate for presentation of treats. The blue-green bowl reminds me of earthy things and I purchased at the One of a Kind in Dec - a memento of a fabulous time had by Di and myself.

The little ceramic pot beside it, Rod and I found in the pottery section of the craft marketplace silo in St Jacobs when we were first together. I like to mix spices, smell them and adjust them in the little pot before throwing them in the cooking pot as my Indian house-mate Jaya did when teaching me how to make curry during my university days. Tucked in front of it is a less showy but equally serviceable stainless steel cup that I also use for that purpose which reminds me of my many restaurant stints, especially my time at Jasper Park Lodge.

On the edge of the sink is the basket for my coffee maker. I just got it about 2 years ago and it comes out whenever friends come to visit. Before this I'd take everyones order and enlist a guest to go for a coffee run with me to the Tim's on the corner. 3 stones plucked from the shores of Lake Huron are nestled into the corner reminding me of the power of mindfulness, love, healing, council friends and Florence's place up north.

The ladle, from One of a Kind years back, reminds me of many wonderful outings I've had with friends. It hangs along with other fine serviceable pieces from the same artisan, creating an ever changing glistening piece of wall art when not in use and shows up especially beautifully against the tile on the wall; a work in progress. Rod and I picked them up a few weeks ago and he got only so far before the holiday celebrations began. A contractor's place is often in various stages of completion. I'm told tomorrow will be the day work resumes. I love the subtle multi-colours in the stone. 

We don't have a lot of "stuff" but I'm fortunate that all of these things continue to give me great pleasure and I am grateful to have not only them, but the memories and messages they contain. 

It's a simple thing, but sometimes simple is fantastic!