Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mental Health anxiety with a side of blogosphere

Self-talk to center

I believe in God and....

...making anxiety worse?

Meander past radio item about anthropologist of religion Tanya Luhrmann's study of schizophrenia in different cultures. Her samples are not large but the results make one want to hear more: in the US schizophrenics with auditory hallucinations hear voices that are hostile, negative, condemnatory. In India, the voices are relatives telling the schizophrenics to clean up and get to work.

Never mind voices. Or bear with a digression about all the mechanical and recorded voices RantWoman gets to deal with and just go back to self-talk: Quit procrastinating with eccentric physics videos such as 5 things not to do with a particle accelerator and Models acting up. (Financial models.)

Now the main reading that spawned this post: an article from the Atlantic:


RantWoman would characterize the above article as an extended abstract of article from Sociology of Religion.

As an aside, RantWoman noted comments in the Atlantic about Hinduism and wonders after reading about half the Sociology of Religion article whether it worked wwith multiple faiths and in what terms to test the basic point. RantWoman takes the basic point to be addressing whether the language of one's faith reduces or increases anxiety. RantWoman did not getthe whole article read and it remains on RantWoman’s mean to read list.


RantWoman was reading late at night. Whatever RantWoman did brain was going to stop processing what is essentially table information read in a stream by screen reader. In lieu of falling asleep, RantWoman let mind wander to matters of mental health professional and talking of matters of faith.


RantWoman changed practitioners about a year ago. Former Practitioner is of same faith tradition as RantMom and Little Sister (and RantWoman, sort of.) This meant that sometimes Former Practitioner "got" things about the RantFamily really fast and in terms RantWoman did not have to filter. But it also meant that after awhile Former Practitioner could get a little stuck on the very same things RantWoman was getting stuck about:

--We agree that RantWoman is basically highly sane and functional but something is stuck and we are not getting unstuck so what needs to be different.

--Well if you just pray harder….

--RantMom’s Energizer Bunny “If you just keep going and going” outlook.

--People around me are doing nutty and dysfunctional things but I am NOT clear just to go find some new people for one thing because just possibly I need to figure out MY dysfunctions and new people will not necessarily help. Reminding RantWoman about how vexatious matters of one’s faith community are really is no help.  RantWoman is VERY clear she needs a faith community and is willing to live with…


But let’s face it: explaining the basics of one’s faith community can get tiresome. Even worse, if one talks about God telling them to read the yellow pages or that someone’s necktie just feels spiritually heavy, LOTS of practitioners might start thinking psychosis and anti-psychotic medications. And we won’t even talk about trying to read George Fox’s journal without wanting to stick on some mental health diagnosis!

So far, RantWoman is grateful for a sense of some progress.

--New practitioner notices things like when RantWoman’s eye drop regimen makes her eyes redder than usual. Pollen, sleep deprivation, and new manufacturers all seem to be on point. Nothin obvious to do about the last but being noticed is peculiarly connecting.

--New practitioner asked RantWoman for a list of books about blindness. New Practitioner sounded interested. RantWoman is unsure whether she has gotten anything read but appreciates being asked anyway.

--Practitioner seems to listen well and also to push thoughtfully. Maybe enough said.


Now another problem: RantWoman does not remember whether the subject of blogs has come up. If so, RantWoman suspects she has shared only one; the second would be finable by following info in RantWomans profile but should RantWoman be more explicit about point the way even if it never gets read? RantWoman suspects there is a whole semester worth of ethical consierations entangled in that reflection and is meditating about what to do with…

Arrrrgggh! RantWoman will you please bleeping stick to ONE topic?

Look, this is blog as Quaker journal, electronic scribbling. When has RantWoman EVER proised complete polish> IF anything, this raggedy notebook is like throwing conceptual spaghetti at the wall. RantWOman would not mind hearing that something has resonance or seems ripe for further interrogation….. Right, and maybe RantWoman will go back to reading her book of Nadine Gordimer essays and see what housecleaning they generate…

A BMW in the Parking Lot???

After a somewhat recent meeting of the Woolman Reading Group, Seeker Friend, wide-eyed: RantWoman, speaking of superfluities, today there  was a BMW in the parking lot!

(RantWoman, under breath) Friend, tend to thine own superfluities!

RantWoman does not know a lot about BMW’s but does have a general impression that BMW’s, as is usual for German cars, are very fuel-efficient. Beyond that, RantWoman does not pay a great deal of attention to what is parked in the Meeting parking lot. For one thing, RantWoman is used to arriving at Meeting on the chauffeur-driven limousines operated by king county Metro., supplemented by her own feet.

 RantWoman quite likes this mode of transportation:

--Exercise. Did anyone mention exercise? And Fresh air? And Nature?

--The vehicles are generally the biggest passenger vehicles on the road.

--Leg room and seat height.

--Unbeatable cast.

--Never any shortage of “Time to Pray” moments!

Should RantWoman elaborate?

But the other point, RantWoman lives in a neighborhood where there is just far too much gunfire. RantWoman generally feels safe but still finds the gunfire problematic. For example one evening recently, Little Sister and Irrepressible Nephew were headed home from a nearby bus stop. They came upon some kind of a police investigation: two BMW’s driving along shooting at each other.  What a waste! By comparison, driving a BMW to Meeting seems almost holy!

 So, um, yeah, Wide-eyed Friend, Tend to thine own superfluities!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rafeef Ziadah on Palestine, Israel and justice

RantWoman likes how the Finnish journalist does, to RantWoman's ear, a decent job of asking intelligent questions that draw out the story. Then he talks about trying to be balanced and Raffeef lectures him about just letting her tell her story instead of putting the story in his terms. More of same in this wonderful spoken word piece.

RantWoman further admits to being very grateful not to live in Gaza and to want to try to grab as much courage, centeredness and focus and capacity to smile and try again as she can from these stories. Readers are advised, this is still RantWoman we are talking about. Please hold Gaza in the Light in the meantime.

Tim Hawkins: "Free Bird" Climate Change; Chilling Out. Self Care.

Readers who just want to hear comedian Tim Hawkins do "Free Bird," feel free to scroll to the video start.

RantWoman guarantees, though, local groupies and people for whom RantWoman's name causes consternation will get a little more out of "Free Bird" if they first muster a teeny tiny bit of time for another visit to Planet RantWoman and reasons Tim Hawkins makes RantWoman smile:

"If my wife ever leaves, I am going with her."

admiring how his wife multitasks, "Honey, could you watch the kids for an hour? I'm trying to make toast!"

And while RantWoman is seasoning how to deal with further needed discernment about climate change and Quakers, something RantWoman remembers basically as "God gave us a beautiful planet and all, but some of y'all need to chill out."

God, make up your mind, which is it: "chill out" or go on some more about Climate Change and RantWoman having to put her Recording Clerk foot down on a conference call and say "Friends we are not at unity," write thorough minutes of exercise, and now see where things go from there. For now, RantWoman has decided that listening to this version of Free Bird, even listening into absurdly wee hours constitutes self care.

Lomi Lomi Massage: one of RantWoman's inspirations

ROOTS AND WINGS. UFM member Barbara Helynn Heard has written a short spiritual essay

about her own inner work and how this work has influenced her massage practice. She
ROOTS AND WINGS. UFM member Barbara Helynn Heard has written a short spiritual essay about her own inner work and how this work has influenced her massage practice. She specifically reflects on her Quaker roots and native Hawaiian spiritual wings. Read it here:

specifically reflects on her Quaker roots and native Hawaiian spiritual wings. Read it here:

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Times They Are a Changin - Odetta

RantWoman is all over back to school time warp / inter temporal wormholes but not necessarily into offering breadcrumbs for every twisting free association pathway. Figuring out the pathways is left to the reader, as homework.

Today's dimensions: Odetta. Dylan. Odetta doing Dylan. Teachers. Internet ephemera. Odetta at the Garrison Institute.

Some wisps of teacher remembrances with less wispy text options lost in the demise of one online service.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Correlation does not equal causation: the office computer

Bless you oh God for the discussion of confidentiality that crawled out of efforts to review minutes at our most recent Meeting for Business. Friends were trying to review minutes and a whole set of new minutes of exercise emerged. RantWoman notes that the new minutes of exercise emerging during review of minutes situation has occurred several times over the last coule years and will file that observation for further action. What is not happening about how business is conducted? What is not happening about how minutes get recorded?

 RantWoman is writing here of topics which MIGHT merit confidentiality. They Might, but RantWoman in a spirit of complete Love and Truth is clear that pieces belong in public! The specific RantWoman sticking with an issue and not just getting out of the way situation discussed here has in fact come up very obliquely in Meeting for business. But since recent Meeting for Business norms have not included a lot of people feeling able to ask questions about even more basic assumptions, the fact that oblique reference to RantWoman’s help went winging by at the time simply gets noted and RantWoman gets to continue to be true to her Light. And RantWoman does not apologize: if the flow of RantWoman’s Light is not clear to others, all RantWoman can do is invite Friends to ask RantWoman to expand which ever thread rises ….

 RantWoman has only been standing aside from every Worship andMinistry Roster since she got thrown off the committee. This year, RantWoman was clear also to stand aside from the Care and Counsel roster. Can you say overachieving about interpersonal conflict????

 RantWoman has only been screaming Owwwwwww more by email than otherwise for a really long time. Owwwww for specific issues. Owwww because RantWoman is surrounded by people who expect people to always be able to say Owwww in polite easily digestible nibbles. Owww because of wonky eyeballs and life twitches RantWoman really would not mind not needing space for in the first place. Owwww just because. So now Care and Counsel committee has tasked a committee to talk to RantWoman about …Meeting for Business. Separate tirade available about other layers of Meeting life, but start where we are!

 The committee tasked with talking to RantWoman about Meeting for Business asked questions about trust, about whether RantWoman will live with business meeting’s decisions. Ummm, dissertation in progress. Another Friend asked a question that caused RantWoman’s mind to wander near the point that correlation does not equal causation. Then RantWoman began to shake again.

During this year’s nomination season, RantWoman collided again with memories of one Friend whining that “it’s not good for the community” when something goes on in public and RantWoman had not been clear to try to communicate with that Friend about matters less visible. RantWoman can specify from information referenced in this blog post but encourages readers just to stick with the current item for now.

 Is the shaking a panic attack? Is it Quakerly quaking about needing to speak Truth? Is it just sleep deprivation?


 Correlation does not equal causation.


 Consider an episode involving Conflict is a Gift of God Friend, use of the computer in the Meeting office, and comments out of the mouth of said Friend indicating that he was probably driving the office manager CRAZY and could not fathom that possibility. RantWoman listened to a long spell of these comments and found occasion to speak to the office manager” would it help if…?”

Office Manager Friend sighed deeply in relief: the entire confirming conversation took less than a minute.. RantWoman THINKS but does not remember that this got reported either to the Clerk or to another topical committee and shortly Friends found ways to detach Conflict is a Gift of God Friend from the office computer, change some system administration practices, and possibly take other measures RantWoman never felt any need to know about in detail.

 RantWoman thinks the measures were effective. For one thing, she fielded whining about them from Conflict is a Gift of God Friend. For another, the office manager was GREATLY relieved. For a third, Conflict is a Gift of God Friend has over time SLOWLY, SLOWLY worked out more appropriate ways to ensure that he has the tools he needs without relying on the office computer. Hold that progression and the support and accountability committee for his ministry in the Light!

 The further  correlation does not equal causation part? This was all shortly before the entire saga of Conflict is a Gift of God Friend and RantWoman and Worship and Ministry. Please hold all of this in the Light, for one thing because RantWoman has further dissertation to pen.