self improvement, WOMEN'S HEALTH


A busy mind, an active life, a creative spirit, make up what I fondly call Alayne’s brain. I am confident that if the term attention deficit disorder existed when I was a child, I would have been labeled as such. The drug companies, who work hard at getting us creative types feel like we need a drug for everything, refer to it as “A.D.D,” making it roll off our tongues so it sits comfortably in our brains creating feelings that something must be wrong with this type of brain function.

There is nothing wrong with this brain function except when it goes haywire and I fail to notice its long strange trip. I humbly laugh at myself often saying that if I executed even ten percent of my ideas… What? What would that mean? Would it mean more money? I don’t care about that; I have enough. What would it mean actually — executing ten percent of all of my ideas? I have never posed this question which is likely why I seldom execute ten percent of my ideas.

The indication that my creative spirit has gone rogue is my incessant calling to shop, drink, eat sugar which all ironically make me more rogue. This has been the year of allowing. Just allow the calling and drink the wine, eat the cookie, and maybe it has served me, maybe not, I don’t know except that it is not about the weight or the body shape anymore. It is about mental clarity and deep connection with a power greater than myself. This is what goes south when I over allow. My type of personality, and I know that each day is a new day and I have the ability to change my direction, doesn’t seem to be the one cookie, one glass of wine type.

My inner circle who know me well would wholeheartedly agree.

My typewriter collecting obsession is reflective of the sum of all parts of my brain. Can’t just buy one. So I start thinking about what is causing this fragmentation of my spirit, that weird dullness that creeps in that makes me run from my power rather than run to it. What came firs? The glass of wine and the cookie or the need to run to it to soften the intense feelings of power that are part of my daily existence.

This presents a conundrum because I welcome mental clarity. It is when I am at my absolute peak performance in my life. It is like I get there- to the top of the mountain- stand there, look around at the glorious 360 degree view only offered to those who make the climb and turn around too quick to move down it forgetting just as quickly why I climbed in the first place.

The lesson is in all of this is to trust the process, but not to get lost in the process. Getting lost is not necessarily a bad thing unless you get so lost that you need to call 911 but you find out your cell phone doesn’t work. Getting lost is only as good as finding your way out. This is the complexity of the fine line between process and running away from.

I do believe that the fragmentation is the amount of technology that I have given permission to surround my being with. The literal energy of all of this electricity and world wide webbing is freaking out my energy field. I am presently sitting on my couch with my cell phone to my left, my laptop on my lap where the heat of it on my thighs can’t be good. Pandora is playing through my internet music system. When I get quiet I have this strange ringing in my ears interrupting the silence and I just wonder how much all of this current is affecting my sense of mental order. No wonder it is hard to go to my creative space in time and separate from the distraction of technology.

When these things happen and I have written all I can write for the morning, I clean a closet, type a note, go for walk in nature or I cook. These four actions immediately bring me to center. They take me away from the chatter and allow me to be present in the moment. Technology doesn’t offer this. Technology offers the fragmentation. How many times this week did I go to sit at my computer and begin a project only to find myself scrolling, clicking, watching an unintended webinar that was not even in my plans when I opened my computer? This can’t be good.

Cleaning one small closet that had been on my to do list this week took me about twenty minutes and the result was complete tangible satisfaction. I don’t think I have had any tangible satisfaction from technology except when I write and post something I have written.

When I analyze life going forward, I need to clean more closets. It clears the cobwebs, makes me feel grounded, brings me back to my humble beginnings. Cleaning a closet reminds me how lucky I am that I get to write about consciousness of spirit and personal power to begin with.

I open the curtains this morning and look at the light. I do my son’s laundry and take a walk to the local bagel shop to get goods for a homemade breakfast. I remind myself again and again that like cookies, wine and shopping, technology can be a choice for me. It is not my livelihood like it is soon to be my son’s in his career. I have closets to clean and cookies to bake in a warm house with a roof over my head and people in my life I get to love and who love me back.

Personal power, as I move into this next decade of 20/20 vision, is about the choices I make because I get to make them. What gives me joy needs to be my directive. I have worked really hard at getting my life to the point where I have the luxury of this question. What gives me joy? And when I get that answer, this is what must direct me for the next decade.

What gives me joy? Connection and connecting- this is what I live for. My laptop and my phone can’t do this even though social media wants to let us believe they are connecting us. What social media is doing is disconnecting us from our own selves. This is why I started the odd collecting of typewriters. This is why I clean a closet when I need to get out of my own way. Reconnecting with my own electrical current. I am presuming we could all use a little more of that these days.




Is it me or has the entire world of all things needing to be read getting smaller by the minute? It surely can’t be my eyes, can it? Doesn’t it seem like everything that is targeted to my fifty something self- workout equipment, bottoms of lipstick tubes, the ingredients on my $100 jar of skin serum, directions to any piece of equipment is shrinking at a rate that takes my breath away. I find myself squinting constantly and I WEAR GLASSES! Don’t ‘they’ know that we, these bad ass fifty year old superchicks are the ones with the income who are buying all this fancy shit? And by the way if we are not buying it for ourselves we are buying it for our kids, just in case they didn’t get that memo. This is just a metaphor for everything these days that has just gotten so complicated. I always thought it would have been nice when VCR’S (remember those?) started coming out fancier with more bells and whistles if the MANufacturers (caps of the word MAN on purpose because surely if women had come out with the VCRS back in the day, they would have made them so much easier) there would have been two choices. Option A would have been all the nonsense I never used, never gave a shit about yet paid for it because I had no choice. Option B would have been on and off, forward, rewind, pause. Done.

Fast forward, no pun intended, to this crazy world and just as I get used to using my seventh generation iphone, I realize they already have an iphone 10. Did I miss the eight and nine? Is it just me or is my relatively new iphone 7 acting wonkier, losing battery life faster? Has Apple become the Evil Empire? I can’t keep up with this. And will Apple please stop reminding me to update to the newest and latest system? Didn’t I just do that like last week? (and by the way this coincidentally it seems that is when my battery started going rogue. If I skip the reminder twenty five times, shouldn’t smart Apple know that I am not interested and just free me? I mean they know when I get in my car and where I am going when I get in there, surely they must have the ability to know by my personal algorithm that I choose not to upgrade so that my life can be easier because some 25 year old in Cupertino California wants me to. And by the way, Apple, while I am at it, why don’t you just make a phone that doesn’t need an upgrade every other week, just saying.

How about when I go on to my computer and it starts telling me all kinds of things I need to do to update it. How about I DON’T WANT TO FUCKING UPDATE ANYTHING! How about a button for that. I want there to be an Option B. for everything. I want to have the option of staying put in my little technological comfort zone and make no changes. I don’t want to upgrade Microsoft Word, I don’t want to change my password. I don’t want to have to create some security question and answer to protect myself from whatever crazy people are out there. I get it. We all live under the illusion that we are in control. Not being able to see the fine print these days and there is lots of it, (you know that I AGREE button we all hit after not reading the ten page contract with said Apple and all of the others we sign?) is an opportunity to stop looking. I don’t really mean this. When I am sprinting on the treadmill in Kathy Martin’s crazy class at ELEVATE in Middletown, RI, I probably want to see my time, my speed, my pace, my incline, but all of this passwording and relearning of technology that I am perfectly comfortable in its existing form is enough to make me want to go back to bed. My serious fantasy is to relinquish all of it. Yes Facebook, email, cell phones, all of it. But then I realize how would I communicate all these writings that have given me such a sense of daily peace? The irony!

If there is a higher power out there watching this great experiment called HUMAN BEINGS, that said higher power must be laughing her or his general neutral head off as we type in yet another password that gets rejected because we forgot to capitalize something or add a number in the middle of the word. I can barely see the computer screen these days! I don’t want any more passwords. I don’t want my apple homescreen to download on my car screen, actually I don’t want technology in my car at all anymore. It is way too distracting. I just want to go back to a radio, maybe a cd player with an on and off button. Bluelight has taken over for sunlight. I don’t want to read a recipe online or a book on a kindle. I want paper, I want butter smears on the pages. I want the page to smell like the vanilla I accidentally spilled while mixing the ingredients together on a rainy day. I pulled out my piles of recipes this morning to locate some Hanukkah old faithfuls. The textures and stains combined with my notations and initials of the people who gave them to me brought me to the power of the present moment that no recipe on my too small screen phone could ever give to me. I want to read the daily newspaper and have to wash my hands afterwards to get the smudges of ink off them. I want to take my pile of real life magazines and peruse them with abandon because I can. The sound of the pages turning and the articles I rip out on travel that I place in a real folder in a real filing cabinet always surpass the folder on my desktop.

I do love to type my stories, but there is something about pulling out my old notebook and a sharp pencil to bring my thoughts to light as I sit comfortably on my couch bundled up in my grandmother’s silly lighthouse sweatshirt. There is something about going out into my garden and forgetting what a plant is named and actually going to a garden book and looking it up rather than “googling” it, or even better, just living comfortably knowing I don’t know. Seeing a bird and pulling out my binoculars and staring at it for a few quiet moments, hearing its song, appreciating its cause for pause.

In all of this trying to connect, I don’t know about you, but I feel more and more disconnected these days. I have 5 pages of passwords. (For those of you who don’t have your passwords in a safe place neatly written, please make that a new year’s resolution and let someone know, you can’t believe how much easier this will make someone’s life if said Higher Power decides your time is up). I want to turn on my old fashioned music and surround myself with the sounds of Ruthie Foster stunning voice belting, When It Don’t Come Easy, as I quietly contemplate my existence in candle light instead of bluelight. I want to be able to go to bed and actually sleep for an entire night without a hot flash to wake me up with a power surge that gets me out of bed. Is it too much to ask the companies that we have allowed to manipulate our souls to stop for just a minute and let us catch our breath? And while they are at it, maybe they could make the font just a little bigger. Is this too much to ask?

my luscious old school recipe cabinet, my pile of books i can’t wait to get to and a lovely collection of my favorite old and modern real cookbooks in my very real pantry along with my prized pink very used and worn kitchen aid. who knew cookbooks may hold a place in the category of vintage.