Monthly Archives: February 2012

Zen Day 10: Integration

The conflict is in man. Unless it is resolved there, it cannot be resolved anywhere else. The politics is within you; it is between the two parts of the mind. A very small bridge exists. If that bridge is broken through some accident, through some physiological defect or something else, the person becomes split, the person becomes two persons and the phenomenon of schizophrenia or split personality happens. 

If the bridge is broken – and the bridge is very fragile – then you become two, you behave like two persons. In the morning you are very loving, very beautiful; in the evening you are very angry, absolutely different. You don’t remember your morning…how can you remember? Another mind was functioning – and the person becomes two persons. If this bridge is strengthened so much that the two minds disappear as two and become one, then integration, then crystallization, arises. 

What George Gurdjieff used to call the crystallization of being is nothing but these two minds becoming one, the meeting of the male and the female within, the meeting of yin and yang, the meeting of the left and right, the meeting of logic and illogic, the meeting of Plato and Aristotle.

Osho Ancient Music in the Pines Chapter 1

The image of integration is the unio mystica, the fusion of opposites. This is a time of communication between the previously experienced dualities of life. Rather than night opposing day, dark suppressing light, they work together to create a unified whole, turning endlessly one into the other, each containing in its deepest core the seed of the opposite. 

The eagle and the swan are both beings of flight and majesty. The eagle is the embodiment of power and aloneness. The swan is the embodiment of space and purity, gently floating and diving, upon and within the element of the emotions, entirely content and complete within her perfection and beauty. 

We are the union of eagle and swan: male and female, fire and water, life and death. The card of integration is the symbol of self-creation, new life, and mystical union; otherwise known as alchemy.

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Now, bear with me, for I have entered a new level in this process: welcome to the meltdown.

Reading this card this morning, I interpreted it in my own special way, most likely not what Osho intended, but today it’s going to work for me (so there).  Two sides of your personality fighting?  Gee, welcome to my world!  Hormone-opolis, population 1.

I need to remember – somewhere in the back of my chemical-laden brain – that I am sane, that I am pumped full of drugs, and that I can get through this.  That there are days and times when I can carry myself with grace and that I need to call on those instances for inspiration to do the same now.

But then BD tells me he doesn’t want a phone upgrade and I completely melt.  Or I think about what I’m going to wear to work…and I melt.  Or I contemplate lipstick…and I melt.  No joke. At least three complete breakdowns this morning and it’s not even 11:00 a.m.  I think it’s a combination of – well, hell, let’s be honest, it’s just what it is.  I am injecting thousands of dollars worth of super-ovulatory drugs as well as menopause-inducing drugs into my system and my body’s not supposed to freak out?  I’m not even going to try to rationalize anything today.  But I do need to try to get through it with a little grace.

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Recap of Day 9: the first shot of Follistim and Menopur brought this game to a whole new level.  I have an incredible amount of respect for the women who can self-inject; I, personally, would not be able to inflict that amount of pain on myself willfully.  The issue is not the shot, per say; it’s the actual medication – there’s so much of it (and I guess it’s also kind of aggravating as-is) that it takes a good 20 seconds to administer.  It is nothing nice.  Poor BD felt awful that it hurt me and I felt awful for making him feel awful – it was a horrid circle of temporary suck.  I think we’ll get it down, though.

I saw the acupuncturist, who treated my insomnia, night sweats, and I don’t know what else.  I have to be honest and say that I’m not getting a lot – well, anything – out of these sessions, but if research says that it helps with IVF, then I’m going to keep doing it.

I went to dinner with a friend and only then realized how loopy I was (in large part due to stress, I imagine).  I took a melatonin to go to sleep, but was up a lot and had night sweats again.  This resulted in the genius idea – at 3 a.m. – to take another melatonin.  I think that may have contributed to some of my not-so-chipper mood today.  I really need to figure out this sleeping issue.

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Zen Day 9: The Lovers

These three things are to be taken note of: the lowest love is sex – it is physical – and the highest refinement of love is compassion. Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle. 

Very few people know what love is. Ninety-nine percent of people, unfortunately, think sexuality is love – it is not. Sexuality is very animal; it certainly has the potential of growing into love, but it is not actual love, only a potential…. 

If you become aware and alert, meditative, then sex can be transformed into love. And if your meditativeness becomes total, absolute, love can be transformed into compassion. Sex is the seed, love is the flower, compassion is the fragrance. 

Buddha has defined compassion as love plus meditation. When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready only to give – to give for the sheer joy of giving – then add meditation to it and the pure fragrance is released. That is compassion; compassion is the highest phenomenon.

Osho Zen, Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing Chapter 3

What we call love is really a whole spectrum of relating, reaching from the earth to the sky. At the most earthy level, love is sexual attraction. Many of us remain stuck there, because our conditioning has burdened our sexuality with all kinds of expectations and repressions. Actually the biggest “problem” with sexual love is that it never lasts. Only if we accept this fact can we then really celebrate it for what it is – welcome its happening, and say good-bye with gratitude when it’s not. 

Then, as we mature, we can begin to experience the love that exists beyond sexuality and honors the unique individuality of the other. We begin to understand that our partner often functions as a mirror, reflecting unseen aspects of our deeper self and supporting us to become whole. This love is based in freedom, not expectation or need. Its wings take us higher and higher towards the universal love that experiences all as one.

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What a perfect card for today.

After waking BD up way early following his Monday-night bartending shift to get to the clinic at 7:30 this morning, I kept finding myself gazing at him with admiration as he joked and listened intently to the nurse’s instructions for how to mix and inject the new medications.  Sure, the learning process probably took twice as long as he was obviously fatigued, but he was a real trooper.  He had this look of humility and genuine attention while taking instruction and going through the practice rounds that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen from him.  BD is a very confident person who likes to maintain control and humor through any learning process; it is a rare occasion for him to back down without comment or come-back.  But, today, he really made the effort to listen and learn.  I was so incredibly proud of him and humbled by his devotion not just to me, but to this yet-to-be new human being.

As the nurse went through all of the fun side effects that I could expect with these new medications (Follistim and Menopur), I could feel the depth of my love for my partner.  Swollen ovaries, feet, and hands; constipation; aching back; constant urge to urinate; tender breasts; bloating – all very attractive and exciting things to look forward to, for sure.  But, it felt okay, sitting there with my partner because I knew he is as excited as I am and that we are more than swollen ovaries and constipation.

The biggest excitement of the day?  The extraction is tentatively set for March 10th!  That’s less than two weeks!  I don’t even have the words to express the jumble of emotions – mainly flat-out excitement – that I’m feeling.

So, here’s to my BD.  One cool dude and one super-awesome partner.  I pretty much hit the jackpot with this one.

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Recap of Day 8: Nothing to report besides the same.  Had another stress dream that involved all of the medication – there was so much medication, some of which was the same in different packaging, and I wasn’t sure which directions to follow on which box.  I think part of my sleeping problem may have to do with the space heater, which I set pretty high because it’s cold when I go to sleep, but which makes the room really stuffy around 2:00 a.m.  Perhaps I’ll try a lower setting tonight and see how that works.

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Six steps to simplifying and honoring yourself…or, at least, to beginning…

I believe that I’m the poster child for over-commitment.  My entire adult life has been filled with a series of projects, events, jobs, side jobs, internships, classes, you name it.  It took several years of my mother and partner repeating, “SLOW DOWN,”  until I finally listened.  And, truth be told, it wasn’t even their words that affected me; it was facing the fact that I’d have to undergo IVF.

IVF really forced me to re-evaluate how I was spending my time and energy.  And what I realized, once I gave myself the chance to think, was that I was filling up my life with so many things and people expressly so that I wouldn’t have energy to contemplate bigger things.  Like, what really drives me?  What do I enjoy?  What challenges me?

I’m not going to pretend that I have the answers to those questions, but I’m certainly not afraid to have the time to contemplate them now.  I’m even comfortable with the fact that I don’t know the answers.  That’s probably the biggest gift IVF has given me: the space to take time for myself and to honor myself.

With that in mind, there are a few basic things that are integral in cultivating the time and space to honor yourself.  You don’t need to have some thunderbolt like IVF to snap you into it, you just need to…

1. Give yourself permission: allow yourself to be nice to you!  You must be okay with giving up bits of time and energy to “pamper” yourself – which it will undoubtedly feel like at first, but which you will soon realize is not simply pampering, but energizing your soul, thereby allowing you to give and do so much more for yourself and others!

2. Reallocate funds: figure out what money is going out the door towards things that aren’t that important (partying, take-out, frivolous purchases) and dedicate it to something meaningful.  Yoga, acupuncture, organic produce, fancy supplements – whatever it is that will fill your body and soul holistically.

3. Make it routine: whatever it is that you’re implementing, make sure you do it religiously.  No excuses.  Why?  You have to make yourself top priority!

4. Be consistent: don’t make excuses not to stick to it.  Honor yourself and keep your promises!

5. Journal/blog: find some way to mark down what you are doing for yourself; when you can track the care you are taking to nurture yourself, you’ll be able to actually see and appreciate the impact that much more.

6. Evaluate: like any good project, you must evaluate its progress to determine its success.  Once you’ve been really good to yourself for a while, ask yourself some hard questions.  You may not like the answers you come up with – heck, you might not even have the answers! – but, with a clearer mind and a kinder heart towards yourself, you might find yourself being more honest.  There are a million questions you can ask yourself, but here are some I started with:

  • Am I happy?
  • Am I challenged?
  • Am I surrounding myself with people who support and challenge me, who bring out the best in me?
  • Am I making good choices about my professional life?  My personal life?
  • Am I being the best partner/friend/lover/child/parent/employee I can be?
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