I had this dream a long time ago. This is from my dream journal:
My husband was driving a moped and I was on it. He was going from side to side and I thought he was being dangerous. I told him not to do that while I’m riding with him.
We were supposed to be in Key West, although it did not look anything like Key West. There was a black man standing in the middle of the road, near an intersection, with two large, brown beautiful horses. They reminded me of the type that police ride. Cars were driving by and scaring the horses.
I said, “You don’t see horses in the middle of the road, especially not here.”
Then the scene changed and I was in a place that was like a spa perhaps? All I know is that I was supposed to be pampered in some way. Someone was using a makeup brush to put silver glitter all over me. I told them to stop, that it was too much glitter. And then I woke up.
Key West is supposed to be a fun place, a place many people vacation. My husband was having fun zipping around on the moped. I didn’t like it, because I thought I would get hurt. The black man may represent the unknown.
The two horses may represent messengers (or two messages) of authority. The scared horses may represent “scary” messages. The intersection is similar to a crossroad – something in which we must decide on which way to go.
Glitter in a dream may mean expression, flashiness, something requiring attention. But it was being put on me, and I told the person to stop doing it. Silver may represent money.
There was a situation in real life in which my husband had received two messages from someone of “authority” that were meant to scare him. Prior to that, he was zipping around in life, having fun and minding his own business. The messages concerned me, and I had to make a decision on what to do about the situation – do I continue expressing myself or hide? I told the “makeup” person to stop putting so much glitter on me – because I did not want the attention – and the silver had people believing we had a lot of money. The messages in real life concerned money, and when people think you have it, they will find a way to get it.
I spent my New Year’s Day meditating, organizing, and thinking. I’m not going to make resolutions, because I feel that if I should do something, it needs to be done right now. Instead, I created a list of 52 things to do this year that most people don’t normally do.
1. Buy a meal for a random stranger
2. Volunteer at a nonprofit
3. Compliment a random stranger that looks like s/he’s having a bad day
4. Attend a class or meeting you normally would not
5. Visit a place in your city you’ve never been
6. Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to go
7. Write a thank you note to a business, organization, or person for their service
8. Tell a store manager how helpful one of their employees are
9. Give something up that you’ve had since childhood
10. Donate school supplies to a needy child
11. Spend a day talking to elderly folks
12. Forgive someone that you’ve been holding a grudge
13. Send a card to a friend telling them how much you care
14. Make a list of things you love about someone and give it to them in a frame
15. Leave a gift for your mail carrier
16. Buy a textbook for a college student
17. Take a long walk in a neighborhood you’ve never been to
18. Commit to something you’re not already committed to
19. Grow a plant from seed
20. Have a conversation with yourself in the mirror
21. Help an elderly person with something
22. Eliminate something in your life that brings you down
23. Learn how to cook a new dish
24. Buy something for yourself you wouldn’t normally buy
25. Wave to random people while walking, riding your bike, or driving
26. Do one thing you’ve always dreamed of doing
27. No complaining for one day
28. Make a list of all things for which you are thankful
29. Let a teacher know what a great job s/he is doing
30. Learn about someone else’s religion
31. Have faith that everything will work out for that one big issue
32. Share something about yourself that you never have before
33. Buy a piece of art from a local artist
34. Let yourself cry
35. Help a neighbor
36. Try a new adventure
37. Teach someone how to do something
38. Listen to a new musician
39. Say yes to something you’d normally say no to
40. Join a group or club
41. Attend a fundraiser event
42. Bless your enemies
43. Make a new friend
44. Rescue a butterfly, lizard, or insect
45. Don’t look at yourself in the mirror for one day
46. Learn something new not listed above
47. Participate in a function you normally wouldn’t
48. Manifest something with positive thoughts
49. Let the other driver go first
50. Take a scenic drive
51. Hire a local photographer
52. Be happy with what you have
Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of caring from someone to put a bandage on a wound. During a very difficult period in my adult life when I was learning to express my voice, that someone was my massage therapist. She gave me this little elf book called Be-good-to-yourself Therapy, written by Cherry Hartman and illustrated by R.W. Alley. The hand-sized book is delicately illustrated with elves and loaded with information intended to “help you overcome the distorted notions that keep you from living fully and honestly”.
This book is great for those times when we may be feeling down or anxious. I like to randomly open a page to see what message is waiting for me for the day… and oftentimes, those messages hit the nail on the head. For example, today I opened to message #6:
“Take the time and space you need – even if other people are wanting something from you.”
How appropriate for the holiday season!
The messages aren’t always so general such as the one mentioned above. Some are more specific to the needs of situations and offer solutions, such as message #24:
“When you want to talk to someone new and are scared, breathe. Don’t start rehearsing, just plunge in. If it doesn’t go well, you can stop.”
I suggest this book to anyone who is having a hard time experiencing happiness or seeing the brighter side of life. Its simple messages may be exactly what you need to hear.
Have you ever played the game Space Invaders? It came out in 1978, and as a small child I played it until I had blisters on my fingers. I was determined to shoot down the enemy if I couldn’t hide behind the walls that almost always got torn down. Of course, in video games, the game always wins. But in real life, we have the power to control what happens; it’s just a matter of learning how to use it.
One day it dawned on me that the aliens in the game Space Invaders are much like people who are space invaders. (Some people often refer to them as energy vampires.) They invade space and suck the good energy right out because they have no respect for other people’s needs or boundaries.
For instance, the friend that has endless relationship problems – you provide an ear to listen. A week or a month later, same friend, same problem. Six months later, a year, two years – same friend, same problem. Her relationships literally make her ill, and listening to her somehow starts to make you feel ill as well. You’ve invested countless hours listening (the way friends do for each other) to her rant about her ex or about how everything in her life sucks. Now it’s your turn. You have an issue and need an ear just to hear you vent, and now your friend doesn’t have time for you.
Healthy friendships are based on mutual listening skills; otherwise you are an unpaid therapist.
Sometimes space invaders are determined to selfishly grant their wants rather than someone else’s needs. A friend whose ex would not stop contacting her after she broke off the relationship, even after she ignored and warned him, got to the point of having to call authorities. Obviously, he had no self-control and zero respect for her needs and boundaries. She probably set these parameters at the very beginning of the relationship, translating his actions into flattery and “love” at first, instead of listening to her own needs and boundaries. (Unfortunately, many people do not recognize it, because it’s the way they were brought up.)
plural noun: boundaries
a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.
Another person I know goes out of her way to “help” people with all good intentions, but she does it without their permission – and then expects things to go her way. For example, she was trying to set her friend up on a blind date with some dude that turned out to be a dud (she invited them to the same party without informing the woman of her intentions). Instead of accepting that her friend had boundaries about dating and being set up with complete strangers without her knowledge, she got upset that she “went out of her way” and didn’t feel appreciated. What she did caused three people unneeded stress – her friend for the embarrassment and invasion of privacy, the dud(e) who was embarrassed after getting his hopes up, and herself because she had expectations for something she had no business sticking her nose into.
Even after explaining to a space invader that they have crossed a line (or many lines), explaining that perhaps right now is not the time to continue a conversation, or explaining that right now we may not be feeling well enough to do what they would like us to do, they continue making excuses and finding ways to invade our space… if that person continues to disrespect your boundaries, it’s time to either set the boundaries or let them go. Space invaders will make us crazy, make us literally ill, and make us want to scream.
In the game Space Invaders, you get 3 “lives,” but in real life we only get one. But we do have three choices as to how we handle these people: we can either continue allowing space invaders win and slowly kill us, place the boundaries today, or completely end the relationship by announcing: Game Over.
This was an interview I did in 1998 for Break Magazine, a college newspaper in Tallahassee, with Babaloo, a Boston-based band.
If you’re looking for a fun, freaky, and totally unique band to see, then Babaloo is the band for you. The music could best be described as a one-of-a-kind mix of punk, mambo, reggae, ska, and samba, and is sung in several different languages, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and Swahili. In addition to music, sometimes the band invites others to perform along with them, including magicians and dancers.
In order to fully appreciate what the band offers you must go to see them for yourself. [Babaloo performed at Yianni’s in March 1998]. You can even get a small sample of Babaloo’s music on their website:
Even people from as far as London are recommending for others to see the band. “The band is outstanding,” said Steven Wolfe, 32, an attorney from London who recently saw Babaloo perform in Key West. “They music is iconoclastic, they have high energy, and the audience participation was the best. I want to try to get them to come to London.”
Trumpet player Marc Chillemi referred to the band as the “Babaloo family circus”, where “fun and deception” occur. Apparently, Marc isn’t the only crazy member of this multicultural circus. The seven solid members of the band sat down and conjugated the answers to the following questions:
Q: How did your band form, and when?
A: Destiny in the Jamaican Plains where we were all living and hanging out in 1995.
Q: Your music involves different languages. How do you decide what language to use with which song, etc., or does it just flow out of you that way?
Q: Would you say that your music has a particular theme or message, and what would it be?
A: It’s important to be nice, but it’s nicer to be important. What’s mine is mine, what’s yours we split.
Q: What is the best thing about touring? And the worst?
A: All of the traveling. The touring is the worst.
Q: You have said that you have “loonies of all kinds” that are attracted to your music. Have you ever had a bad experience with a loony?
A: We went to play a club in Bar Harbor, got in an argument with the club owner, and he threw a keg at our bass head, Slim “Family Man” Goodbody.
Q: Where are your favorite places to play?
A: Outside places, festivals, New York City.
Q: Which bands/performers have influenced your music?
A: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilara, Mandy Moore, and Sam Mangwana
Q: With so many members in the band, do you find it difficult agreeing on things, and how do you handle it?
A: Paper, scissors, rock.
Q: What do you think is the main thing that keeps the band members together?
Q: What are the bands goals for the future?
A: We only smoke blunts if they’re rolled paper.
Q: Is there anything you want your audience to know before they come to see you play?
A: One for $15, two for $20.
“Sometimes all you need in life is a little splash of color.”
Winter is a time of year when things are often grey. Trees are bare, the sky is colorless, and things are generally “blah”. If you’re feeling the winter blues, buy yourself some fresh flowers. A little splash of color can make a world of difference and put a smile on your face.