Friday, April 20, 2007

Response shabbat shalom 20.04.07

4-20-2007 @7:07 AM
Hola Doctor Linda ~ I am waking up early at 5 AM these days in order to get more done and get better at my time management. Making more time as time is often what we make not just what we have.

However, some days when I can I just sleep late as much as I can to restore my batteries.
Balance is always key and usually it is balance in active movement, not just stillness.

On this side of the Atlantic, we are really getting bombarded about the Virginia Tech Massacre these days, until the next great tragedy, though the Iraq-nam War has been pushed out of the media more in the last few days as it worsens constantly in Baghdad. Meanwhile...

Gracias for your post and I saw it on your blog too. You are learning well. Here is the specific blog link:

Linda Whittaker <> wrote:
"Sober alchoholics have to keep an emotional equlibrium, and it does sometimes seem like we are hypersensitive people, greatly disturbed by things other people just shrug off. Maybe it's that tendency to obsess. Can't change the world, so all we can do is change ourselve and where we put ourselves. As advised in AA, I've learned to pause when disturbed, and nine times out of ten that is a signal to get the hell out of the situation, which is not a healthy one for me."

As you know, I am into progressive recovery and thus I have a tendency to question all pre-conceived notions related to recovery from chemical dependency, esp. if it comes out of the AA doctrine and/or dogma.

As a recovered victim of chemical dependency I see the universality of much of our new ways of being, thinking and doing in our continued recovery. I am recovered in the sense of being well from my chemical dependency. Now the real work of Spiritual Growth goes on and we should have our souls be open to continued change in positive, progressive and productive ways. God is not done with us as we yet unfinished products of history and social circumstances.

I believe that emotional equilibrium is a key part of a kind of general wholistic equilibrium that is good and healthy for all of us humane beings.

It is true that people in recovery have more of a hypersensitivity to certain incidents and situations, but that applies more to those in early recovery. Remember: you have several years or more of sobriety. Maybe some of our psychology (in the sense of mental processes) that is exhibited in our behavior is stuff that we already had or even a part of our genuine nature. Plus, some who have bi-polar or bio-chemical imbalances are prone to be more hypersensitivity. My point is that it is not exclusive to people in recovery.

Sometimes a mere song can bring a tear in my eye or a lump in my throat. And sometimes we need to go through our emotional storms to find out it is not as severe as we first suspect.

We know that the disease of chemical dependency hits us on the triad levels of the mental, physical and emotional/spiritual components of our general being as humane entities plus, the natural trintiy of the mind, body and soul are intrinsically interconnected and cannot be arbitrarily divided. Where exactly does the mind end and the soul begin?

In simpler terms, a lot of our stuff in terms of reactions and responses to external stimuli in our lives is identical to so-called normal people, except that in our general case they can easily become exaggerated because we still have not fully recovered from our OCD tendencies and other residue of our past decadent lifestyles when we were trapped in the vicious circle of chemical addiction. It takes time.

Thus, we should not be too hard on ourselves as we are still engaged in a lifelnng process of healing from the past damages in our lifes as we also seek to avoid and steer clear of bringing about any further damage to ourselves. In a way, we are still wounded souls.

US Holocaust Museum Weblink;

Yes, we can change the world as we do live in the world. We can also change the world to the extent of our power, influence and knowledge of the world at large, plus, in our day-to-day inter-actions with others. We are a collective forward to be reckoned with in the cosmoc. Plus, we should never underestimate the power of a dedicated, determined and disciplined intellect to impact on the world at large nor should be discount the ripple effects of rational thought and humane truth.

All our humane efforts to better this world may be a mere drop of water in the Pacific Ocean of life, but the ocean would be far less without it. Quality, not mere quantity.

Sometimes when we find that certain situations hit us harder than we first thought they would on an emotional level it could be because we have not yet 'processed' certain traumatic events in our past experiences. Let strength arise out of our sadness. Turn negatives into positives whenever possible in life.

You DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Imagine what life would of been like for others in your life here now without your existence! We have survived thanks to God's Amazing Grace!
Prayers, Blessings and Serenity to You!
~ Love, Peter S. Lopez
P.S. Cc and Bcc with others. Sharing is caring.....

Linda Whittaker <> wrote:
Hi everyone,
It's been a strange week. The first day was the Holocaust Memorial Day, which I escaped by going to the Volcani Institute in Rehovot, down on the coastal plain, to attend a biodiversity conference. My own office was at Yad V'Shem, where the Director General marches everyone every year for memorial ceremonies and a tour of the museum. I went the first year he did that, lasted twenty minutes, threw up on the parking lot and went home sick for the rest of the day. Since then, I've managed to dodge the command from above. I even scheduled a dental appointment one year to get out of it, that's how bad it is.
I've got sympathy for the Holocaust, of course--better not live in Israel if you don't--but it's dangerous territory for me. Maybe I'm more sensitive, maybe I haven't been desensitized. As I mentioned before, I visited Bergen Belsen once in Germany and ended up in Heidelberg the next day, no idea how I got there or why Heidelberg, halfway across Germany. This holocaust stuf hits me hard, and I stay clear of wallowing in it.

I guess it is the same for any emotionally charged event. I'll keep my distance from the pre-Independence Day memorial services also. I've been whacked out by that in the past as well. At the university they read the names of the students killed in Israel's wars, which runs twenty minutes now. That steady reading of names had me sobbing in a corner after ten minutes and I fled.

Sober alchoholics have to keep an emotional equlibrium, and it does sometimes seem like we are hypersensitive people, greatly disturbed by things other people just shrug off. Maybe it's that tendency to obsess. Can't change the world, so all we can do is change ourselve and where we put ourselves. As advised in AA, I've learned to pause when disturbed, and nine times out of ten that is a signal to get the hell out of the situation, which is not a healthy one for me.

Okay, so I took the train down to Ramle on Sunday, a beautiful trip through narrow gorges in the mountains and then into rolling hills. The trip itself is worth doing just for the views. Ramle is an ancient town, doesn't amount to much now but was the capital of the Holy Land under Moslems, Crusaders and British for altogether more than a thousand years. There are antiquities from the Moslem periods which really should be developed for tourism, a lot of potential there. It also has the best Indian restaurant/grocery store in Israel, so I stopped there to stock up on spices and papadams to make at home.

Conference was nice, international, and small. I connected with guy from the informtics services in Kew Gardens, the Mecca of botanical work, and was able to compare notes on this developing field in which I also work.

Not much to mention for the rest of the week. Hamsin rolled in and this time it made me pretty sick on Tuesday. Very dusty (it's a hot, dry wind off the Saudi Arabian Penninsual; imagine what it is like down there!) and a lot of people, including me, were coughing and sneezing like with severe allergies. Cleared up right away when the rains came and washed out the dust.

I had a visit to the facio-maxillary unit at Hadasseh Hospital on Thursday and my scars from January's fall from a ladder were checked by a professor there, surrounded by his students. My own guess was wrong, I don't need surgery. The problem is nerve damage on the corner of my upper lip, and surgery won't help that. He prescribed a course of physiotherapy. It actually was that rarity, a fun visit to the doctor. The clinic is small and very good, and the professor is a kindly Arab. I got a kick out of his rattling off the Latin on the musculature and nerves in the problem area, getting his students to fill in the gaps. He seems like a good teacher, and reminded me of my own comparative anatomy class days. I also got to meet the guy who stitched me up in the emergency ward last January and had a chance to thank him for a job well done. They want me back for a check in two months--maybe I made myself popular by that.

So I have a weekly visit to Hadasseh during workiing time (paid medical leave) where I will spend an hour doing physiotherapy (what, blowing balloons? I have no idea). Hadasseh is becoming a more pleasant place now, with cafes and and a shopping mall built into the system. For once I can go look at the Chagall windows, which I never had time to do before. This actually looks like a pleasant experience....

Other than that, I'm in a European consortium which is racing the clock on an FP7 proposal due 2 May in Brussels. I'm not leading, but I am in charge of a workpackage and have enough to do on that. I hope we get it. I sat out the 3-year FP6, after working on FP4 and FP5 for six years. I'd rather keep going with Europen connections, which give my work here some persepective. Israel is a small country and we tend to get a little nutty. I need that trip to Europe every now and then to keep my head straight in my work. The other folks in my workgroup are Dutch, French and Slovak, so it looks like an interesting mix. I wouldn't mind meeting in their countries or hosting in mine.

We also have some congregational activity. Aside from the holiday picnics this spring, it looks like a green light for a trip to Greece in autumn, if we can get it organized, and guess who gets to do that now? You wanna get something done, find someone who is busy.....
shabbat shalom,

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