the war…within

Aquaman along with the other prominent charact...

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After exercise class one day I had the pleasure of visiting the home of one of my friends and fellow exercisers, Laura. She’d recently done extensive remodeling which I’d wanted to see. It would help me decide whether or not to use her contractor. What I saw of his handiwork proved to be favorable…if we can afford his price, that is. We’ll see. More importantly for me, however, was the conversation Laura and I had as I was about to leave.

Laura’s a writer. Though I’ve not read anything she’s written, I’d imagine her to be an author of depth and compassion. When she speaks of her travels and experiences everyone is apt to listen. She may be soft-spoken but her words are those of one who invests in living what she believes.

One thing struck me as personally significant in what Laura said that day. She spoke of 2 inner voices residing within us…that of the ego…and that of the soul. The first is loud, clamoring to be heard…and succeeding most of the time. The second is quiet, struggling for its voice amid the din caused by the ego. I would call it gut instinct.

Ego (Beyoncé Knowles song)

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The ego is in constant search of stroking…of approval. Its appetite is insatiable. Enough is never enough. “Just one more” it asks…”Just tell me you like me…love me…one more time.”

All About Soul

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The soul, or gut instinct, tries to intervene on behalf of our own self-preservation…gently reminding that it is we who control our own destiny…not others. But we are never prodded, or goaded, or shoved into acquiescence. If we could only be still for a moment or two, we might hear our softer voice reminding us that we are valuable…we needn’t abandon ourselves in aspiring to be what we think others want.

If only we could be our own best friends…and not our own worst enemies. Ego is good if given boundaries. As my daughter laughingly tells me when I hug her without letup, “Bubble! Bubble!” The ego should be kept in a bubble…with just enough space for it to roam and be appreciated. Meanwhile the soul should be given free reign to exercise its muscle, and strengthen its influence.

CG depiction of Gollum created by Weta Digital...

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The ego and the soul need balance, the former carrying less weight than the latter in my estimation. Harnessing the ego seems to me more difficult than giving free reign to the soul. I compare the ego to Gollum, the creature in “The Hobbit” who covets the precious ring belonging to Bilbo, the book’s hero. The ego is not bad unless it obsesses, leaving the soul with the difficult task of returning us to our core…to who we are…and should remain. 

So I’ve resolved, along with losing a few pounds, to listen hard as my soul tries to speak up for me…and keep my ego in check as it strains for the approval of others. Both are inevitable and essential. How they play out their roles is managed by the director…

…me…and you………hugmamma.  😉 


live your own life…not someone else’s…

Water ripples

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Simple advice from the man who is touted with changing the world in my lifetime…Steve Jobs. While he may have touched upon my life like the furthest ripple from where a pebble hits the surface of the still waters of a lake, Jobs words are more in sync with who I am, than those of family and friends who think they know me best.

Determining that they have my best interests at heart, siblings have, from time to time, made suggestions as to what I might want to do. That we’ve not seen one another in years doesn’t seem to matter. The old adage that “blood is thicker than water” may have something to do with it. And while that may be true literally, figuratively…I’m not so sure.

In striving to live healthfully I’ve learned that water is essential to my body’s machinery. Supporting me in this assertion is the following from the website USG.

The movement of water around, over, and throug...

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Think of what you need to survive, really just survive. Food? Water? Air? Facebook? Naturally, I’m going to concentrate on water here. Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten. …

There just wouldn’t be any you, me, or Fido the dog without the existence of an ample liquid water supply on Earth. The unique qualities and properties of water are what make it so important and basic to life. The cells in our bodies are full of water. The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.

One brother suggested I author a story about a little, Hawaiian girl discovering the world beyond; a sister liked a recipe I’d posted and encouraged me to include more in my blog. I thanked both but felt neither was what I wanted to write about. And now in my 60s, I thought I had a pretty good idea as to who I am and what I want.

Fower and bud of yellow chamomile (Anthemis ti...

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It took me a long time to throw off the mantle of others’ expectations of me. Only when I became a mother, did I realize I didn’t want others meddling, however well-intentioned, in how I parented my only child. I was determined to raise her to be who she wanted to be, knowing that my husband and I would always support her with unconditional love.

Handing over the reigns of control to my daughter hasn’t always been easy. But I reflect on the long and difficult path to finding my own voice, and I’m grateful that my daughter has found hers at 25. She speaks to us almost daily, detailing things she wishes to share. We ask questions, but we don’t prod. We express our opinions, but assure her that she knows best because it’s she who lives her life, not us. We affirm the value of her decisions. And we empathize when things don’t occur as she thought they would.

Even in middle-age I looked to others for guidance. I called them role models, women aging gracefully. I thought for sure they had the secret to peace on earth. But I’ve come to realize that I can’t model myself after anyone. What works for another, probably won’t work for me because we’re different people. We’re the result of different parents, different experiences, different strengths and weaknesses, and different life views.

It’s uncanny how a man I never met, an icon, Steve Jobs, knew what was best for me…and millions of others.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

 Steve Jobs’ life should be a beacon for those who know in their heart what feels right for them. And my daughter is an example of someone who took up that torch…

…living her own life…with our love and blessing………hugmamma. 

“got my groove back,” hugmamma

THANK YOU COMCAST, for removing the Grinch and giving me back Christmas!!! The technician came at the appointed hour this morning, replacing wires, boxes, modems and what not. Not sure if it would be considered an overhaul, or a remodel. Whatever it’s called, our internet connection is again working. I’m sure you can tell from the vivid pictures gracing my previous post about holiday decorating. I’m back on my own laptop, where I can enhance my writing with pictures from my “library.” Yehhh!!! It’s almost like going from “black and white TV,” to color.

This time we’re ALMOST certain that Comcast’s technician fixed the problem. Since my husband’s more savvy about gadgetry, he understands the repair process better than I. Gut instinct is my trusty barometer. Let’s hope it’s still dependable, and that the same is true about Comcast.

Meanwhile customer service rep, Amanda Kennedy, promised we’d be given one month’s internet service free, for our frustrations. That’s in addition to the $20 credit we received for the first appointment, because the technician arrived after the 4 hour frame period. So while Comcast is a big player in internet service, they provided us customer service of the small town variety. Mistakes happen; things can go awry. We can be understanding, even patient, as long as there’s communication and genuine compassion for our plight.

So I continue to recommend using “honey,” and not “vinegar,” to resolve a situation. It’s less stressful for you, and may garner side benefits, such as I’ve described above. But go the distance, talking with whomever is necessary, rationally stating all the facts. Don’t hesitate to ascend the “ladder,” talking to the boss, if necessary. The most important thing, however, is not letting your blood pressure boil over. Your health is too important. So remember to take some deep breaths…

in the groove again, blogging…hugmamma.