Sunday, August 26, 2007

What I have Enjoyed in my Life: Meme

I got this meme from Jame's blog @ "Letters from the Sanitarium". Thought it might show me as more of a 3-dimensional character:

Thanks James....this was good for me...to think of the things I can do, can accomplish and enjoy.

Four Jobs I Have Had or Currently Have in My Life:

1) Currently Volunteering as an Art Instructor/Mentor: At an Art Studio that is a rehabilitation clubhouse for people who have severe and persistent mental illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression). I have co-taught printmaking classes and helped with teaching an older adults pottery class (handbuilding). I am about to start co-teaching a beginner's drawing class and just finished the 8th of 10 lesson plans yesterday. I love this place and am a member there as well...so get to use the space to do my art and attend classes.

2). Just finished volunteering at my city's Shakespeare festival...I worked in the concession last year and was a bartender this year. I had to quit because of my symptoms this year, but hopefully can go back next year.

3). "Facilitation and Development Specialist"...at a HUGE, massive, gigantic corporation. I developed training material and classes, as well I facilitated workshops for managers. Before that I had been a trainer in the organization for years. This job took me down. It was so high stress and involved travelling across the country to deliver workshops. I left this job and went on disability. Ironically, the last day I worked was the day I completed and did my first workshop around ensuring the organization creates a workplace that is open and accessible to people with disabilities. They speak the speak...but when it came to walking the walk...What a joke. I saw so many people with mental illness treated so poorly...it was sad. Glad I left.

4). Bartender, hostess, waitress at a busy restaurant. Did this throughout University and I loved it. The place was fun, always busy and relaxed. The people I worked with were amazing. The restaurant might as well have been a bar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It was one of the busiest places in the city and I just loved working there. Kind of weird because now something like that would terrify me.

Four Countries I Have Been to:

1) British Virgin Islands: My husband and I rented a 34 foot motorboat with another couple and cruised around the islands for 2 weeks. Can you say BLISS. It was the best vacation I ever had. I spent most of my time in the water. As you may have gathered from my name I am a waterbaby. The second I touch the water I am free.

2) England (London): Visited my best friend for 10 days. I love this city...Even after 10 days I did not even scratch the surface of what is available to experience there. I was blown away by the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery. Also, their underground is amazing and easy to figure out. They have the simplest maps of the city at the underground...they fit in your back pocket. Truly a city geared to tourists.

3) France (Paris): Did the whirlwind one day walking tour. It was so incredibly beautiful. I have never seen anything so gorgeous. It was a beautiful spring day and we walked all over and ended up in the park that encompasses the Louvre. The day was exhausting...but worth it. I want to go back for a longer period of time.

4) USA (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico): Took many different trips. Camping down the Oregon/California coast, to San Francisco when I was 22...loved it!!, to the Grand Canyon a few years back...unbelievably gorgeous...especially the North end (I think...the undeveloped end anyways...stunning). I always had a great time in the US but, I'm scared to go to the states now because I'm afraid to cross the border. It freaks me out how much power those uneducated people have. They have more power than the police...scary. Not that I'd do anything illegal, but I get scared nonetheless.


Four Places I'd Rather be Right Now:

1). Canoeing and Camping on Sakana Lake...I go there in my head when I get really stressed out.

2). London, England...I love that place

3). Tofino, B.C....I got married on the beach there and it is beautiful...the huge wave, the sound of the ocean, the seclusion....ahhhhhh!

4). My pdocs office. The second I get there I feel safe. About 10 minutes into my sessions I usually become extremely calm. He soothes my soul.


Four Foods I Like to Eat:

1). Chinese... especially Schezuan

2). Japanese...sushi...yum

3). Indian

4) Mexican

Four Personal Heroes-past or present:

1) My Mom...she was all about being caring and compassionate. I don't think I ever heard her say a bad word about anyone. She had this incredible ability to see from other's perspectives. I loved her more than anyone on earth.

2). Jesus...the man...I'm not religious at all, but when you read about Jesus in the new testament it is amazing to see a man so accepting of everyone. This is where it makes me sick that Conservative Christians twist his words and deeds into hatefulness for people who are different from them. Jesus the man accepted all and was kind, compassionate and good to all. I think (if he existed) he was a great role model. Even if he's made up, he's still a great role model.

3) Mahatma Gandhi: Peaceful Resistance...need I say more.

4) Buddha: Any being who helps others survive their suffering is a great being in my books. I am struck by how much Buddhism is like western psychology...interesting.

Four Books I have Read or Are Currently Reading:

1). A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry...If you want to smell, see, feel what it is like to be lower caste and struggling to survive in India...this book will take you there. Beautifully written.
2) Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain....This man suffered...The book is well written and will make you think twice about the benefits of fame.
3) Existential Psychotherapy, by Irvin Yalom...This book got me to finally leave work and helps me take responsibility and move forward in spite of my mental illness. He writes fiction too that makes some of his theories more accessible (read: "When Nietzsche Wept"...It will make you take charge or "Lying on the Couch"...a play on words...the book is a really fun and sometimes disturbingly honest look at psychiatry).
4) The Heart of Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace Joy and Liberation, by Thich Nhat Hanh...an easy to read, easy to understand introduction to Buddha's philosophy. I was awestruck both by the author's writing and by Buddha's teachings. I love the way Thich Nhat Hanh views the world. It makes you want to survive your suffering.

2 comments:

James said...

You are such an interesting person Aqua. I love that you are doing the art thing and incorporating into helping others with mental health conditions. I love art and need to get back to painting.

I sooo want to visit the Virgin Islands and we have talked about retiring there some day. I also would love to visit France. Especially since I speak French.

I want to visit England too. Especially one of my ancestral homeland of Scotland.

As for the U.S.--yeah, it's a scary place now. We are seriously thinking about moving to Canada.

I agree about Jesus the man. I find it interesting that the radical Christians are conservative when Jesus was pretty much a liberal. If he would even bother with politics at all.

Great point about Buddha and suffering. I like Buddhism because it is often considered the religion of science, psychology. As well as the "religion of no religion." It some ways it is more of a philosophy then a religion.

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite teachers and authors. If you liked that book then I'm sure you'd love, "Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life."

Aqua said...

Thanks James,

You would love the Virgin Islands...it is like heaven.

We'd also love to have you up here in Canada...It really is a great country and the city I live in just got voted the "most liveable place on earth"... for the 4th year!! It is gorgeous on the Westcoast. You'd love all the hiking and camping.
...aqua