Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mothers Day

Stacy Mizrahi

Happy Mother’s Day! We love the mom of the house and we send our love to the Grandma. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas! It's been a crazy year, and I'm happy to have gotten through it. Looking forward to continued growth and strength. 

stacy mizrahi

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Morning view

It is spring time and this is the view from my deck. Every day is a blessing and I must take note of my surroundings to keep that reminder. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Self-Fragility and the Art of Accepting Pain


Stacy Mizrahi

As I have gotten older, I've accepted that a lot of what I would call a "comfort zone" is due to a shit-load of privilege. I grew up an only child, was raised in a middle class family and largely didn't have to worry about a dangerous environment in that process of getting to adulthood. All those things are arguably good as no one wants to have their children hurt. But there is this other side - a side in which a person , accustom to things being a certain way, finds them self at odds with the world around them. From this sense of discomfort arises protection mechanisms that protect the person from further discomfort by absolving responsibility of culpability in whatever is going on. It can happen on any number of subjects, from racism, sexism, harms of cultural homogeny, you-name-it. The most insidious part about that is that it stops personal growth and conceals truths or realities that inflict pain. This is the Self-Fragility I call into question. 

No one wants to be blamed. And certainly, we tend to be in systems that protect us from any accountability - even if no action we did created the problem in question, However, that doesn't mean a lack of action is a lack of accountability. The issue is one in which I - a person of arguably boringly average upbringing , will deflect, argue, and whine about issues that threaten to harm my image, ego or worldview. When I catch myself doing it, I have to question a great deal about WHY I'm doing it. And regardless of the issue, it always seems to get back down to protecting my fragile self. Through all my perceived strengths, I can at times see a giant coward hiding within. So I continue my quest to face the hurt, to allow myself to try accepting some blame and shame. I became aware recently that my own spiritual growth isn't fulfilled through finding comfort, but rather that the struggle with my own expectations,  rationalizations and the outside world can be a rocky road where I occasionally find balance and harmony. And I must be willing to forgo my own fragility to experience the bumpy ride. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Inducing Stress and Lessons Learned


Stacy Mizrahi

I grew up not knowing how to deal with stress. As a consequence,  I became a person who let his emotions run his life. I couldn't leave things at work. I couldn't even deal with the stress while at work. My ADHD  also complicated matters, as my focus would get derailed, I would slide into negative behaviors and my performance would become degraded. My solution to stress was sometimes healthy - like exercise. And other times not so healthy, like drinking, caffeine,  and internet surfing. 

Mediation and Yoga gave me something new - a mindfulness practice to help center myself. The idea was not stress avoidance - although they can sometimes achieve that. Rather, the practice became more like training my brain to cope. Stress is an encompassing experience - your brain and body all of the sudden shift into a different gear and you no longer feel in control. But you actually are! You may not have control of circumstances, but you have control over how you deal with with those stressful events. You might be able to manage to external stressors, but you can always manage the way you deal with them. Like hitting the ball of a tee, the practice over time makes you better at hitting the ball. The practice of yoga, over time, can help you ride out the emotional waves and bring you back to center  - and perhaps even make you calm in the storm. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

My Hiking Adventures


Stacy Mizrahi

Last week, I was mentioning to someone that when I was in the midst of my panic attacks back in 2017, I began noticing that my normally relaxing hiking trips no longer worked! After a lot of self work, I've been hiking again and finally finding that serenity I normally experience while in the woods.  I believe that serenity isn't something that you escape to, rather its a state of mind that you achieve after putting in a lot of work.  Hence, I could only enjoy the outdoors when I was able to tame the anxiety.  If I used the outdoors as anxiety relief, eventually the impact subsides and I was left "going through the motions", unable to appreciate the beauty around me. 

Last year I decided to put a page together so I could catalog my hikes, both past an present. When you see them all together on one page, it's a pleasant reminder of how dedicated I've been to my outdoor explorations. I have ton of hikes to upload, so its going to be a process to get them all on.   In addition, I've been contributing to the Hiking Project - which is a noble effort to document the trail systems that no one else knows about! 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Walking Meditation


Stacy Mizrahi

Walking meditations seem all the rage these days, but I sometimes wonder how many people who claim to do the meditation part are REALLY surrendering to the walk. By surrender, I mean embracing the mindfulness of that one should be focusing on. Walking is easy, keeping your mind to the experience can be a challenge for many. I'm a seasoned hiker and even I find myself slipping into the world of internal monologue and  "holodeck" illusions where my mind is not in the moment. 

I think the trick to walking meditations is to eliminate monotony by constantly checking in with the senses. What am I  seeing? What am I feeling?   Did my dog just eat a frog?  No!? Lets take a deep breath. Mindful movement is not much different than than what one experiences in Yoga or traditional meditation. You can't get "lazy", meaning you can't let the exercise become separate from the workings of the mind. Both work in unison, and it requires effort on the part of the meditator to keep the focus on the present.  All to often we use that walk as a way to get away from ourselves. But the walking meditation is a walk TO our present, to the only time and place where we ever really are. We must use the experience of walking as the focus. By paying close attention to our movements and  inner state, along with all the sounds and sensations of the environment, we become “in the moment.”