Exhaustion and Anxiety

I am repeatedly grateful for the CBC and the information it brings into my little attic hideaway. This morning they featured a show about the book Exhaustion: A History.

 

 
The concept of exhaustion being a contemporary post-modern experience is one held far and wide in today’s culture. The exhaustion that takes contemporary focus is the Chronic form of psychological fatigue triggered by bio-chemicals in a fight or flight syndrome. Or that is what contemporary specialist believe it to be. So we buy into this definition.
However, Anna Katharina Schaffner, the author points out that the pervasiveness of weariness is nothing new.
Galen writes about it in antiquity. The Medieval period called it acidia or an excess of acid in the body which created a condition called melancholia. It was considered a sin and sloth was the result.
Hans Seyle who is the father of the research on stress and resultant depression was stressed himself when he could find nothing measurable about energy. He came to a standstill when he asked, “What is energy?” The only answer that has presented itself in the scientific field in Western science is the measure of calories.
What has been woven into the psyche of the modern cultural Akashi record belief is that there is ‘something out there that will steal our energy’.
The bottom line of the historical focus on the depletion of energy is, according to Schaffner, a belief in the waning of efficacy; a falling away of energy and vitality as we age.

But the real anxiety is about the approach of death.
So historically philosophers, medical scientists, social scientists, psychologists have danced around the changing presentation of exhaustion. For medieval times it was thought to be the humours; during the Victorian Era a blanket of lassitude was the result of invention, modernization and education of women.

wet, tired
Certain periods in history allowed only leisure classes the luxury of exhaustion and depression. However, today the world wide sense that this is the first time, this is the worst time for exhaustion with a sense of personal powerlessness is in error.
The fear of diminishment has been a constant in Western Culture since the age of Antiquity.
A big difference between Western Culture and Eastern Culture is the concept of a mechanistic “battery of energy” that loses its charge. In contrast to Eastern belief that Prana or Qi are replenishable sources.

Grounding in order to grow

Grounding in order to grow

 

The person who is feeling a diminishment can go to a practitioner and reconnect with source. Or the individual can go to a movement/breath practice mode which revitalizes the body and mind.
For me, the most interesting concept in the interview is that each person; each decade; each cultural moment is so intensified that we lose perspective.
The issue of facing one’s death, of having a healthy supportive connection to one’s body and of knowing we are not unique means that we can release the victim mode. We can see how connected we are to all who are alive on the earth and to all who have lived.

Once we understand that, we are able to move in the world with more compassion for ourselves and for others.
Thank you, CBC.

Emerge n Cy Room

Emergency is a word that has some poetry. It is lilting, it lifts and falls. It tells the tale of crisis, of system failure, or the sudden and unexpected facing of transitory mortality. Structures will fall. What we hold so tightly in our safe places, our hands, the firebox under the bed, the bank will inevitably fail us. Those we cradle in our arms will disappear as if they were never there.

Everything depends on everything and we have so much trouble understanding. The financial system, the corporate system, the structured systems of distraction and hypnosis are all threads of the same carpet. And it cannot always fly.

all things connect

Sometimes, because there is no satisfaction guaranteed, because there is no insurance against change, because we are so fragile on the earth, sometimes those things we most believe in, no longer believe in us.

They turn their backs on us, the promises of continuance and protection. They leave us alone, unprotected, in crises.

And it is in the finality of the “emergency room” of life that we finally “emerge.”

When we are stripped of the clothing of the myth of protection, we see who we are.

I have a sense at this time that it is important to focus on my emergence. It is vital that I see the ego oily con woman shell game that I have played.

So many I know are feeling like children left under dressed in a dark forest with winter coming on. There is a pervasive sense of anxiety, of unnamed distress.

I was born in 1944 and I remember the 1950’s with the enamel glaze of prosperity promises while some of us dug fall out shelters in our yard. I remember the 1960’s with the visions of people burning on a cross or on flame running through a ghetto while the TV commercials sang to us about fashion and cigarettes.

I remember the 1970’s when the time of deflated dreams and wounded men was marked by streamlined kitchen appliances.

The society’s surface has always had little coding about what was real. The cognitive disconnect was a habit we were used to like some strange music through our lives.

simple beauty heals

But never before has the dream vision of buying security been less available to us.

There is no someday soon croon being musak piped in. The distractions are short ineffective bursts. The disruption is happening.

The crisis is as clearly understood by some as the moment when the violin scraping begins in a movie.

It is time to get right with yourself. It is time to allow yourself to develop into a peaceful, calm source of energy.

Those who emerge will be the attendants in the emergency room.

 

 

September: Is it Sexy?

Sexy Summer

Sexy Summer

The onset of Summer always brings with it copious manifestations of optimism. Crocus, tulips, roses pushing out to the sky liven our hearts. However, the Latin meaning for the month of September is in no way “flash” or evocative.

It is the 7th months. It comes after the dog drooling days of August heat. Inevitably August was the month where we reacted like someone at a spa who had had a four hour massage. Our legs became rubberish. Our goal was just put something in the body to satisfy hunger and we practice the mantra, “Later. I will get to it later.” And then we have naps. We have naps at noon, or three o’clock or at six to prepare for a long night of sleep.

garden sculpture with pumpkins

garden sculpture with pumpkins

I wonder if we in our work and status focused society could institute a competition for August, Dog day naps. Maybe, then we would treasure them more fully.

The gardens go to ruin. The workout plan dissolves in the face of the continuous presence of heat and the arrival of family and guests. August is when we finally attain what the promise of summer brought to us: long slow days of not particularly anything happening.

And then we have the seventh month. I pasted my calendar on the wall this morning and filled in the dates that I have already made an appointment with myself.

My intention was to work out today… but so far I have only had time to workout what my intentions are for September.

The birds are not so noisy today. The black squirrels are manic in their attempts to bury walnut every where that is possible. My planters are dug up. I saw one trying to start a tree in my neighbours untended, over flowing ease troughs. They fly along the branch highways from roof to roof flicking their tails. Quick! Get Ready!

Tarot card image, the world 5 1/2 1 3/4 $10

Tarot card image, the world 5 1/2 1 3/4 $10

September does not bring the perfume and seduction of summer. One ponders more quietly the coming days. They form a rhythm. It is up to us to make the music.