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come along for the ride


Continuing to tail-wag my dogself back into a good flow, I give thanks for the reprieve from caffeine. Specifically, I give thanks for the reprieve from the tyranny of habit. Spirit guided me to notice that my caffeine intake had climbed to at least 500mg/day between various drinks and pills;  stubborn habit-clinger insisted this couldn't change. I give thanks for having been able to access the wisdom that so much caffeine is not bringing the specific results I desire and is very possibly doing harm. Taking so darn much, I feared the withdrawal. But this is day two of a much more moderate amount, and the withdrawal's as subtle as the caffeine itself had come to be.

Tolerance isn't necessarily a good thing. How much do we tolerate because it's slipped beneath the threshold of awareness?

It's funny how this simple ability to respond to insight/observation feels like a boon from the gods right now.  I suppose it shows I've gotten used to experiencing myself not responding to my own intuition. There was one part saying "Over 500mg of caffeine? When is that ever good for anyone? Is it making you smarter? Have you lost weight? No? Well, if it's not doing what it's supposed to do, why the heck are we keeping it that high?" and another part standing arms folded and saying "Yeah, we can see what's happening and we can see where it's leading, but  it's just how it is; nothing we can do about it."

So many times I've been the bystander at my own train wreck. This time, I located the signals and have been able to divert the train onto a different track.

I so want to experience life as easeful and natural, a "too much caffeine, okay back off" decision to be significant but instantaneous, rather than be a huge brain-hogging deal, or else  something I stand by and watch helpless. How much energy do you suppose is wasted in watching yourself mess up?

And so, once again, I'm the tail of the dog and the dog, and I'm the tail wagging the dog. I'm doing this because it just might be worth it, because at some point the dog might start to wag back. Actually, I think recognizing the caffeine issue and being able to respond to it was maybe the beginnings of a wag from the dog. ("Being able to respond"=response ability. Effortful though it was, choosing against inertia/train wreck definitely felt more responsible.)

I was talking stars and comets with tails and tails wagging dogs and dog stars, walking around saying "comet comet" until I was saying "commit commit." Now of course I'm a persnickety classicist and "comet" is Greek and means "hairy" (they thought the tail looked like hair) and "commit" is Latin and literally means "send along with, entrust." But I'm also (and not really incompatibly) pun-loving, which means I'm glad to juxtapose similar sounding things, even to suggest that the similarity isn't accidental.

To commit is to take responsibility, to wag your own tail. But it's also to entrust, to put trust in the process. The comet orbits, comes back around. Make massive caffeine a habit coming around and around, and you lose awareness of it. The cream doesn't whip up with a single rotation. I have broken commitments to myself many times. But perhaps I merely judged myself too soon and too harshly. It takes time filled with focused effort to whip the cream! Sometimes it never whips up. But if you don't go through the whipping procedure with the intent and hope that it will, you're not even giving it a chance. I've been staring at the bowl of cream, not seeing the point in trying to transform it; failing to start for fear of failure.

So, commit doesn't mean I promise I'm going to do x 100% and achieve y by time z. I have way too much experience of making such promises and not being able to keep them, I'm traumatized by that grandiosity. Too many things out of my hands to make it reasonable to promise to achieve something in a certain timeframe to a certain amount.

But I can put my trust in the process of doing an activity repeatedly. I do commit to writing on this blog regularly and repeatedly. And even if I can't promise that this blog will turn into a bowl of whipped cream on September 27 2015, I can hold out the hope that at some point I'll be seeing the upward-spiral antithesis of the caffeine train wreck. I'll notice "hey, this is going really well. It's easy, it's in the flow, it's helping people." and perhaps one part will want to rush in and sabotage it all, but the other will say "no, we're all good. We just need to keep watch." Keeping watch is more dynamic than being the learnedly helpless bystander.

Comet -- Commit -- punning via German komm mit -- Come with! Come along with me!

About the Author

Ela Harrison

Ela is a wordsmith and herb lover who has lived in many places and currently resides in Tucson, AZ.

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