The Face of Pain

I very rarely do automatic writing.  When I do, it tends to be around 3 am, when I finally give in to that insistent voice-in-my-head that nags me to grab the pen and pad I keep beside the bed.

I don’t bother to turn the light on, as I won’t be watching what I write anyhow.  I keep my eyes shut and focus on feeling for when I get to the end of a line and need to start back again at the other side.  I am aware of each word as I write it, but it’s very much ‘in the now’, so I don’t link it to those that come before or after and have no sense of the meaning of what is on the page until I turn on the light after the message has stopped.

Strangely, the writing very rarely runs together.  Instead it comes in graceful arcs across the page.

I thought you might like to take a look at a meditation I was sent in this way one day recently, when pain was preventing me from sleeping:

English: Waves in the sea at Misquamicut Beach...

Listen to the waves

They will tell you more than you can know in other ways.

They ebb and flow; the pain is the same.

The way your pain is displayed is like the waves – today a storm; later it will lay and calm.

Be not afraid of the pain.  It has a point to make.

It tells you where you are in space.  But that is not your only place.

In other ways you are letting go of space and places.

Drift into the no-space between places and time.

Here you will find the face of pain.

It has a kind face.

It lets you delve into the grace of every gesture and experience.

You will sway with the rays of a sun.

Gather the rays and spread them over your pain.  They will calm and soothe it.

Sink into the way of being kind to your state.

Take time from time to play at being blessed.

You are cared for.

Be aware.

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Dis-Easy

Tropical Storm Yagi in the North Pacific Ocean

“Try to stay at the eye of the storm” a wise friend once commented, when we were discussing those times when everyone and everything around you starts typhooning.

I’ve become rather good at that now.  In fact, for the week or so leading up to this weekend, I was very aware that every friend who contacted me had a problem.  People they’d trusted had let them down, finances had suddenly become a nightmare, relationships had fractured, illness or physical pain was afflicting them.

I listened to each of them with compassion and care.  I echoed back their statements, to allow them to find answers or ways forward where I could, and I tried very hard not to offer solutions or to drift into monologues about similar situations of my own, because I’ve learned that neither of those is particularly helpful.

You see, the Janonlife belief system is that each of us creates our own reality – and that includes any difficulties and problems – in order to gain the most experience possible from this short and tricky lifetime we are currently playing out, and to bring as much light as possible from our expanded, multi-dimensional selves into the existence of the Humans we are Being at this particular point.

I take full responsibility for what happened next, because I actually remember the thought that triggered it.

“This eye-of-the-storm bit is all well and good,” I commented to what I call my God-Self (also variously known as Soul, Spirit, Higher-Self, Essence, God, Goddess or what you will).  “Trouble is, this life has been going along smoothly for such a long time now.  I think I could do with a slight tweak, just to throw me a wake-up call.”

Oh be careful what you ask for, my friends!  By the end of the week, I was laid out by a physical meltdown.  All energy evaporated.  My skin became hypersensitive – to the point that even turning over in bed was agony.  My digestive system seemed to have temporarily been replaced by a particularly bad-tempered nest of vipers.  Strange swooshing noises swirled between my ears at every attempt to move about and waves dizziness overtook me even when I stayed still.

“OK.  Right.  Fine.  Got it,” I told the G-S.  “I take to my bed, drink water, stop eating and wait to see what comes in terms of experience from this lot.  Got it.  And could you ease up slightly on the stomach cramps please?”

So that’s how I spent the next few days.  I’ve had enough similar episodes in my life to recognise that – just as the New Agey lot say – physical illness is, quite literally, dis-ease.  This time, I’d even noticed beforehand that something inside me needed a hiatus – a cessation of everyday activities to give it the time and space to shift.

I didn’t force it.  I felt way too ill to do so, in any case.  I knew that something would come of this.  It always does.

Anger

Anger (Photo credit: ZORIN DENU)

On Sunday night, the something arrived.  Just as the physical symptoms were beginning to subside and I was ready for a relatively normal night’s sleep, huge tidal waves of anger swept through me.

Shaken but not altogether surprised, I grabbed a notepad and allowed a storm of fury against situations, individuals and events – recent and far in the past – to flow through the pen.  Whoa!  Can’t remember the last time I did anger.  I was amazed how much I’d been bottling up.

Did I feel any better for expressing it?

No.

I now had a list of people and events that I felt totally, utterly, mind-numbingly furious about.  I sat back exhausted for a few minutes and asked the G-S to remind me what came next.

“Er, mirrors?” the G-S hinted.

Oh yes.   Of course – I knew that.  Each of them was mirroring something inside my self – showing me aspects of my Being Human self that I was ready to change.

I returned to the list and worked my way through each situation.  None of these people was intentionally angering me.  Each was mirroring behaviour or attitudes I wanted to alter in myself.  Some took a bit of ferreting out.  One remained stubbornly insoluble, so I decide to sleep on it.

On Monday morning I woke feeling extremely weak, but physically fine.  All trace of anger and spite had evaporated along with the mysterious illness.  The elusive answer arrived as I relaxed in a fragrant bubbly bath and I knew the dis-ease had done its work well.

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Danny and the Decimals

Spinach pizza

It was too good a chance to miss.  The Co-op over the road was offering two small pizzas for £1 and the note I’d scrawled to myself during my last tutoring session with Danny said, “Do decimals – pizzas!”

(If you haven’t encountered Danny in my blog before, you can find out more about him by checking this post.)

Oh we’d tried decimals together many times, Danny and me.  I’m sure various school teachers and teaching assistants had made similar attempts.  The result was always the same.  He’d start to twitch, writhe and wave his hands around.  His eyes became both wide and wild.

“I don’t DET decimals!” he would complain frantically.  “All weird points and stuff.  I don’t det dat!”

As we all know, trying to master a new skill while in a state of blind panic is next to impossible.  That’s where the pizzas came in.

As I ushered Danny into the kitchen rather than the study and began unwrapping them, he deduced that Christmas had been delayed but was now well and truly here.

“We doing dooting today?” he asked, hopefully.

“Well we need to cook these before we start on the maths, yes,” I told him. “Because we’re going to be doing maths with pizzas.”

We stood watching the pizzas as they browned and bubbled.  It took a mere six minutes – just the right amount of time to prepare Danny for the lesson.

“How many pizzas did we put in?” I asked.

“Two,” he grinned, salivating like one of Mr Pavlov’s canine subjects.

“Well when they’re cooked we’ll be leaving one of them whole and cutting the other one up,” I explained.

“Otay,” Danny nodded.  “Day smellin’ dood.”

“Yes, and do you think you’ll have room to eat some of the pieces?” I enquired casually.

Danny expressed a certainty that he would.

“But you will have to concentrate hard on the maths, Danny.”

“Oh, I will.  I promise I will,” he assured me.

“Because when we cut one up, it will be in pieces – decimal parts of a pizza.”

He didn’t even flinch.  “Otay.  Do you dint dey’re done now?”

Česky: Pizza

Danny was as good as his word.  He sat in the study, watching silently as I transferred a whole pizza to the first plate and carefully cut the second into ten slices.

“This,” I explained, wafting one piece of pizza in front of him, “is smaller than a whole pizza, isn’t it?”

He agreed that it was.

“There are ten pieces, so each one is a tenth.  We also call that zero point one of a pizza.  Two tenths would be zero point two.  Could you show me zero point six?”

No problem.  Danny went on to identify all fractions of a pizza to one decimal place.

Next I places three of the tenths onto the plate with the the whole pizza, showing him the plate now held 1.3 pizzas, while the other plate held 0.7.  He caught on instantly.  Once he’d shown he could move slices around to create 1.5 and 0.5 pizzas respectively, I asked him to lay out 1.6 and 0.3.  He held the left-over slice in his hand.  I suggested eating it, since there was nowhere else to put it.  Danny happily complied.

The next step was to divide one of the slices into ten minuscule slivers of pizza.  A couple disintegrated, so that they too had to be eaten.  However once he had been shown that these were hundredths of a pizza, he was able to deal with decimals to two places with no difficulty.  Within the space of half an hour, Danny was happily recording and constructing numbers and quantities such as 1.72 and 0.53.

“I think you get decimals now, Danny,” I remarked.

His eyes widened, but he was still calm.  “I dint I do,” he agreed.

A few more mouthfuls of pizza and several other maths activities later, I set him a final task.  We have been playing the ‘ten game’ for months, with little discernible progress.  It involves laying ten counters on the table.  I swiftly remove some and he is supposed to tell me – instantly – how many I’ve taken by counting those that remain. Number bonds to ten – another long-term sticking point.  Tonight, though, his answers were fast and accurate, for the first time ever.

“How did you suddenly get so good at this, Danny?” I asked.

He smiled slowly.  “I’m tellin’ myself dat dey’re bits of pizza!” he announced triumphantly.  “When I dee dem lite pizza I dan do dem easily.”

Staring happily into the middle distance he remarked dreamily, “Pizzas dan solve any problem.  Dey’re brilliant at maths!”

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Autistic by any other name?

I don’t often reblog my posts, but yesterday I was sent this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/describing_autism to a survey being conducted in the UK by the National Autistic Society, who are finally considering changing their way of describing people who are on the autistic spectrum. Perhaps (preferably after reading my blog!) you may wish to share your own views with the society.
Jan x

Looking at Life

I know I’m not alone in being neurotypical but utterly fascinated by the autistic mind. (How many other people loved Spock the best on Star Trek?) I want to explain why this way of being seems to me so interesting and exciting.

Let me begin by saying I have a big problem with many of the names/labels applied to people whose minds work this way.

I’m not wild about the word Autism. The first bit’s fine – it’s from the Greek ‘autos’ meaning ‘self’, and I’m quite happy to think of my autistic friends and contacts as being very unique individuals. It’s the ‘ism’ tag I don’t like. -Isms imply a lack or limitation, whether they are medical or social in origin: thus dwarfism and autism can be lumped with sexism or racism. They’re ugly words implying an inability to reach a desired potential. I’m with the wonderful and inspiring…

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It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it

Star Trek

Greetings.

I am a carbon-based life form, apparently – and if you’re reading this, the chances are that you are one as well.

I’m allowing my inner geek out to play today, as you may have surmised.

So in one of those joyful and wide-ranging musings I can indulge in before the usual workload restricts me to short bursts of random wonder, I have started to ponder the relationship between two apparently disparate entities – myself and a resistor.

Three electrical resistors.

I came to resistors late in life.  I still feel mildly irked that such wondrous little objects had remained hidden from me for so many decades, although I suspect the fault is at least partly my own.

You see when I was a mere 14 years of age, my teachers gave me the option of dropping certain educational subjects and focusing on those that bemused me the least.

Anything of a scientific or technical nature was instantly jettisoned.  Yes, OK, they did insist I paid lip-service to some sort of science, so I chose human biology.  It seemed slightly less perilous than the rest, in that I had  a nodding acquaintance with at least some of the contents of my body, but none at all with the contents of chemistry or physics textbooks.  However in that ill-advised moment, I shut the door to the world of electronics, and only in the last year or so have I thus discovered the little wonders that are resistors.

As the illustration shows, they are tiny, pretty coloured beads on pieces of wire – looking like small exotic beetles.  Their coloured bands vary according to the amount of carbon they contain.

So already, you see, there is a connection between me and the resistors – we are both carbon-based.

Now as I understand it (and please, if – as is highly likely – your knowledge of electronics is wider than mine, feel free to correct me, so long as you use short words and no symbols or abbreviations involving a small z) the carbon inside the resistor steps down the amount of electrical current passing through.

Three carbon composition resistors in a 1960s ...

In this way, it magically allow the flimsiest and most delicate electronic circuits to safely incorporate whatever current is deemed necessary to make them work.  Without the resistors – the patient Californian who once helped me build a modest robot explained – the circuits would fry.

My musings now drift to my own carbon-based structure.

Invisible, yet strong currents of energy course through me as surely as they do in the valve pictured here.  Under certain circumstances this energy can be photographed or measured.  If it will help, I’ll show you a picture of my own energy field:

My energy field made visible

My energy field made visible

I’d go so far as to suggest that this pulsing, rainbow-coloured aura of light and energy is a truer representation of my own multi-dimensional self – the everlasting bit that pre-exists and lasts beyond the slightly frayed human form I’m currently occupying from an Earthly perspective.  So how on Earth did I manage to step down that surging power enough to allow me to temporarily inhabit a human body?
It’s an awesome thought, isn’t it?  Maybe having a carbon-based body is rather an advantage in such circumstances.  Perhaps, in whatever mysterious ways the tiny resistor beads are able to absorb and dole out energy in quantities that specific areas of the circuit board can handle, so the carbon in my body (and yours, of course) is responsible for stepping down the infinite energy I bring from Source and preventing it from ‘frying’ this delicate and impermanent, yet amazing circuit board that is my human body.
Resistance is far from futile, it would seem 🙂