Monday, October 18, 2010

Synthesis Note (37): "Ask"

Song of the Moment: “Ask” by Narissa Bond (lyrics below)

Last week was interesting. After a several months of being unmotivated to do much of anything, except sleep and game, I felt a renewed sense of worth early in the week with each thing I marked off my to do list. Prior days were not so great. Second Life is my fantasy land…place of ideals and dreams deferred… and the social interaction and relationships I have here give me such a sense of love and worth. The connections I have with friends, SL family and you (!! [wink]) generally, brings some relief from the pressures of my first life, but last weekend in particular, I could gain no satisfaction. When I’d log off and be reminded of all that was left undone, still demanding my attention, I would become overwhelmed with anxiety and all I wanted to do was sleep. In the mean time, the list of “to do’s” only grew larger as managing a career and a family with young children requires daily maintenance. One of my most fulfilling SL relationships had begun to break down, but the shift offered an opportunity to evaluate what it is I really need from it and began a process of exploring that within myself. I’ve got the “do unto others” thing down, but still struggle with always knowing what I’d have them “do unto me.” More often than not my obligations are the direct result of saying “yes,” which I suppose I still believe is the key to happiness and prosperity, at least ultimately. In some cases it has been, but in those occurrences where I said “yes” when I really wanted to say “no,” the effort required and self sacrifice willingly given, rarely outweighed any personal gain from the experience.

Last week, I calmly and patiently moved through tasks, with ease. I traveled to Kentucky last Wednesday and there were many things that needed to be done, prior to my flight…to escape to Second Life or any other unnecessary situation would leave my home and work lives in a mess for those who would be managing them for me. Knowing I had a relatively short time to accomplish all of this, I was forced to ask for help, from anyone who stood near me for longer than 3 seconds. (grin) I found that most people were more than willing to help. Most people DO want to help, but are never asked. I never ask because I fear hearing “No” and sometimes I would rationalize that it would be easier and quicker to get it done myself. When I was younger, this was probably so, but as I’ve grown older and my responsibilities have grown greater, I realize I can not do it all myself… especially if I keep saying “yes.”

I was sitting in the nail salon, one of those few occasions when I can’t type or talk on the phone and just closed my eyes to think. My mind began to run through my TO DO list and I could feel myself becoming anxious despite the awesome sensation of having my feet pampered. I also started to feel resentful that people had not offered to help me with this or that, and as a result I must rush tirelessly to complete the list…some of the items related to a “yes” or two I had given someone else. Then from what seemed like nowhere my thoughts were interrupted with one word “Ask!” I was startled at first, and then smiled. “Sure… ASK!” I thought to myself. “People sure do a good job of asking ME, why am I so resistant to doing the same?” This single question opened a Pandora’s box of questions and answers that allowed me to do some real self reflection. It was refreshing to realize that playing victim really wasn’t serving my life very well, especially because people ARE willing to help …. but only if  you ASK them, since the majority of people are not mind readers (grin)

So I invite you to join me on this journey of self exploration by asking what is it you have not been asking for, and why NOT? I’d like to believe we all do this on some level and that it not only prevents us from having the life that we want, but discounts the gifts others have and are willing to share.

I would love to hear about what things you will now begin to ask for, and what happens as a result… hoping you’ll say “Yes!” (smile)

With love and gratitude…

p.s. I am a HUGE fan of Narissa Bond, a local artist who performs at my church and other local venues often. She has 3 CDS, but Between Two Rivers is my absolutely favorite. It has brought me through some very difficult times. Check her out at or iTunes.

“Ask” by Narissa Bond

Stand at the river
Raise your head to the sky
Ask me for the answers
They will come by and by
If you don’t have the words
Say what’s in your heart
Hold your hands high to the sky
I will place them in your palms

You are worthy
and I love you
You are priceless
I’ll help you
Find your truth
Just Ask
Just Ask

Stand at the river
With diligence and grace
Feel the power of all that surrounds you
and give thanks give thanks
If you can’t find the answers
Wait to receive
I Am always here, so
Always Believe


Stand at the river
Feel the sky all around
Look beyond the river
and smile
and smile
Raise your face to the sun
See how it cuts through the grey
With the warm of loves power
Feel the power of my grace


Monday, September 20, 2010

One Too (a Poem)

I lie here, face wet
the pillow tear stained
My heart feels so hollow
Enfolded with pain

So tired of longing
I pray for release
My thoughts feed the darkness
I've no sense of peace

My worth again measured
by my place in your life
Living secondary
Brings some comfort from strife

When life goes wrong, you come to me
I'm always here, I'm always free
Always longing, I know not to ask
Better than nothing, better than last

I must accept my place in line
I am not first
Neither three nor seven nor nine
Second means victory isn't my fate
but I will get my turn, so I patiently wait

In the silence,
my mind begins to wonder
if you're even aware
of this burden I am under

Turning onto my back
tears stream down my face
I question my value
I question this race

I question my purpose
I question yours as well
...your place in my life my life turned to hell

I am slowly realizing
that it's not only you
with all who surround me
I accept number two

Everyone else first
My sacrafice magnanimous
To give to myself
Would mean less me for Us

I finally ask myself
"why accept two?"
The universe is infinate
Infinate means part of you

I am realizing my fate
is not place holders in lines
its not second or first
Noone is behind

Its loving my Self,
and her and him and you
It is knowing ...I am One...
and that we are all One too

 ©Acuminous Watanabe

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Synthesis Note (36): "A Lesson in Humility"

Song of the Moment: “Insane” Tamara Wellons  (lyrics below)

A Lesson in Humility

Trying to juggle two lives can be a crazy experience. The demands can be overwhelming. In recent months, I have felt more and more like I am going insane. Have you ever feIt that you’re trying to do the best you can, but often feel like it is never enough? I ask myself, that for all I try to be for others, why is life so difficult for ME? I have tried with great effort to search internally for the source of these feelings… to find and fix them, so that I can get on with my life in a happy and productive way. I am realizing that PRIDE, may be the culprit and that my understanding of what it means to be prideful, especially when in relationship, may have been significantly off.

I was talking to one of my best friends this morning about a devastating blow to my sense of self worth and value. The erosion of a relationship that has meant a lot to me has sent me into a tailspin. This relationship offered an opportunity for reciprocal love and affection, which is almost heretical for me. The break down was initiated by me, instigated by me and propagated by my thoughts of self righteousness and an attitude that “I am in complete control of my life, to include how others function with me, and that I need to manage difficult relationship situations by isolating myself.”

My friend listened attentively and provided loving support (God bless you Dainie Fraina) and when I began to ask “why me?” she gently replied “maybe this is a lesson in humility.” The words resonated with me so deeply, I stopped crying for a moment and decided I needed to write…to organize my thoughts, to tap into this message she was able to give me.

Growing up, my caretakers were diligent in teaching me a strong sense of pride. This was encouraged by helping me to know that I was better than “that” and could excel in anything I set my mind to. As a poor, African-American family with few social supports for courageous effort, I believed that sacrificing the things I wanted in lieu of that which would represent my family well, was what life is all about. The problem, however, is as I got older, I began to realize that there is more to life than public notoriety and that although my family was pleased, I was not happy at all.

To say that I am a prideful person, would probably be an understatement. I am not used to being cared for by others, and often feel obligated to take the lead in caring for everyone else, their needs and desires. In the interim, I feel lost, alone and afraid and often isolate myself with the belief that the “good” is for everyone else, not me. In that way I call myself a humble servant and justify the self sacrificing as a sacred and selfless. As I thought about Dainie’s suggestion, however,  I understood how crippling my pride has been. Although healthy pride can encourage us to great things, the problem with
self-pride is that it is a distancing attitude, that separates us from what we need the most… to be able and willing to lean into the depth and wisdom of others.
Perhaps in my case, the ‘need for pride’ has been more about a  deep, pathological ‘need for a sense of significance’ and if I am “sick” I have to ask how legitimate, then, is pride in my life?

In relationships the expectation has seemed to be that I would “take care of it,” whatever “it” might be, which ultimately lead to feelings of obligation and sometimes superiority, because in my mind, no one could afford for me to be “weak” or to “not know what to do.”  From that space, I developed an expectation that in exchange for the sacrifices I make for my relationships, that my family, friends, acquaintances, should be available for me, and agreeable to whatever it is I needed, or asked. After all, I was sacrificing my own needs for them, … or so I would tell myself.

Pride affects all of life's relationships. When we become jealous of someone, pride is the root. When we re embittered toward competitors, pride is lurking underneath. When we put someone down; when we covet our neighbor's possessions; when we say, "I can do it better;" when we give someone the silent treatment; when we gossip; when we get our feelings hurt; pride is the reason.

Humility is about a willingness to be self-abasing, to appreciate that in the way we care for others, we too need care. It’s a willingness to accept the love of others and to be supported in ways that allow us to continue to grow and  in the process being supportive of other’s growth. It is letting go of the …need, desire, compulsion… to do and/or be it all, and to allow others the pleasure of “doing” too, and thusly supporting their sense of self value and competence.

Seeking peace in the pieces… and reclaiming my sanity and sense of Self…

In love, peace and humility…

p.s. I found tremendously helpful an article at on the impact of self pride. Great definitions and an activity for some self exploration. Hope you find it useful too…

“Insane” Tamara Wellons

La dah dah dah doh, dah dah dah dah doh…

Tried to cry
…the stress away
Tried to cry it out
Dealing with my head…
Dare to close my eyes and dream
…can make the tears flow down my face
Some days I think I’m going insane.

Some days I feel I’m going insane
Got to get up above my thoughts
Faith got me going today…
..trying to live this way

I am what I am
…wanting to BE (want to BE)

(Repeat Chorus)

Part of me
Still wants to smile
Even though my soul
Falls down to the ground

I keep telling myself that…
“I’m courageous, don’t be weak”
Some days I feel I’m going insane…


Ok lets stop it now…

Some days
I feel
going INSANE
Some days
going INSANE
La dah dah dah doh, dah dah dah dah doh…

Friday, August 20, 2010

Synthesis Note (35): "All The Beauty"

Song of the Moment: "All the Beauty" by Donn

Once upon a time there a there was a beautiful avatar named (your name here).  She  (or your correct gender) was perfect in the eyes of her maker and was created at the perfect time, in the perfect place with all the tools she would need to fulfill her (second) life purpose. She would bring experience to her maker (in first life) which could not be had without her existence and she would function "as" her creator (in avatar form) in this new world to fulfill this purpose and ultimately allow them both to grow.

As she explored this strange world, she was curious and inquisitive, enjoying the beauty and mystery of this place, which seemed made just for her. She then began to encounter other avatars of all colors, shapes and sizes. She was intrigued by all of the experiences she had and in time began to question her self image. She began to change her appearance, ways of living and being to fit in, to feel accepted and to try to meet their (perceived) expectations of her. She is socially successful with many friends, but begins to feel less whole as she juggles the new images she creates for them.

Eventually, she fell in love with another avatar who found her quite beautiful even though she no longer thought this of herself. This pleased and then later frightened her because she had never experienced feelings like this before and had forgotten how perfect she was in the eyes of her maker at the time of her creation. You see, he was perfect (as was she) and she could see this clearly. She felt unworthy of all that he had to offer her and so, she began to shape herself into what she believed would match his perfection. These changes confused her partner and in time she was no longer the avatar he fell in love with and they grew apart.

…so "as above so below" ...and the story goes in second life as in the first life... innocence lost... she’d forgotten her perfection moving from avatar to avatar, relationship to relationship searching for that which she felt would make her whole again….

Will our protagonist fulfill the purpose designed by her maker? Will they synthesize these experiences and grow as one?

......stay tuned....

NOTE To The Reader (grin): What governs each of us is our own self image…that is, how we SEE ourselves. Even in our most perfect form, we find that that which we seek eludes us if we cannot love and accept ourselves in the same way we seek that acceptance from others. We don’t consider that those things we see as flaws, may be just the perfection another is seeking. “I am” is the most power phrase ever spoken. Whatever follows it, …you become. If you want new experiences you have to see yourself differently. Change your inner image and perceptions…transform your LIFE.

Finding peace in pieces…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Yesterday I Cried" a poem

Lost in an abyss of
Yesterday I cried

Reminders of who I
Could never be
or ever was
Consumed my mind
Paralyzed my body

Ever absent were the ideas
of love, hope, proserity
Drowned in screaming silence
filled with voices of
Not, nere, and nevermore

The Crying Girl Pierre by Yves Blasco
Yesterday I cried
Slowly submerging in the
Dark shadows
Surrendering to painful realization
...though lacking understanding
of the truth
Blindly seeking
Wrapped in the longing

Sweet rapture in piece
Emerged a knowing that
I Am
Peace forever more
In Love, I Am
Today I fly

© 2010 Acuminous Watanabe

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Wonderful Life 2010 (Synthesis Note [34])

Welcome to 2010…it’s a wonderful life! Remember that movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)”?!? If for some reason you haven’t, it’s a great holiday movie about an angel who helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. I was a kid when I first saw it, and although I didn’t understand all the themes at the time, I was attentive enough to have the seed planted that without certain people in my life, it would not be the same, and vice versa.

There were many times in 2009 when I questioned my self-value. It was a challenging year! RL demands and financial problems, relationships gone sour, periods of loneliness that felt worse during the holidays…and on and on. Many times I wanted it all to stop… and to be given a chance to start over. As the close of the year drew near, I began to explore what I might change in the approaching New Year.

Lots of things were placed on the chopping block for consideration…some personal relationships, a change in my professional career… and my Second Life. I, however, wondered if the things I want to release, might actually be serving me in some way that I do not yet understand. I still get confused about my Second Life. Why I am here, why I feel so compelled to stay and whether it actually serves any real purpose in my life. I cannot deny, however, the value of the relationships I have built, the joy I experience when I virtually connect with people here, and the applicability of some of the SL experiences, in my RL.

One of my greatest pleasures in SL is the ability to PLAY with abandon. I can present my avatar in whatever form I wish and still be accepted and appreciated. Not sure if I could show up to a ball dressed as a Na’vi from the movie “Avatar (2009)” and receive the same reaction. (chuckles) It gives my heart so much joy to play …probably the reason why I love kids so much. I can hear the childhood song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”  in my head as I am writing this. The lyrics are so simple that it is probably the best advice I can follow as I resolve to create a better year in 2010 than I had in 2009.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

A Wonderful Life… what made the life more valuable in that 1946 movie was a new LOOK on that life. George’s ability to appreciate his life from another PERSPECTIVE was what liberated him from his pain. His circumstances did not change, his outlook of them did, and that brought him tremendous joy and peace.

Instead of focusing on all of 2010, I’ll choose to focus on each day, …each new moment, and opportunity at a time. Everything, every day is a new creation. It is a new activity moving through us at that very moment. So, when things are not so merry, I’ll stop…ask myself what can I do differently IN THAT MOMENT to change the direction of my thoughts and thereby my actions. From that peaceful place, I affirm that I will gain BETTER understanding of what I need to release and what to allow in. If I am unable to think of anything else, I will express my gratitude for whatever things keep me whole in that moment… my friends, my family, my health, …for the love in my heart.

“Peace by Piece” is my resolution for the new year.. for this new day. Thank you for allowing me to share and for sharing your Second Lives with me.

Sharing my Peace/Piece, with love and gratitude
…gently and merrily down the stream,
Acu   XOXO

Free Host | lasik surgery new york