Just for today…

9 Sep

Hello – Kasi here. I read something recently that I’ve been finding kind of useful so I thought I’d share it this week.

This is actually from two different sources, but I’ve combined it into one mantra and I like it. It’s been useful for when I start to get anxious, upset, or worried. I calm myself down and repeat to myself, “Just for today I won’t worry. Just for today I won’t get angry. Just for today I will judge nothing that happens.”

The beauty of this is that I often feel like I have an obligation to worry. Otherwise, how am I ever going to solve any of my problems? This is kind of like the Scarlett O’Hara declaration: “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Of course, you can’t solve anything by putting it off, but I think worry is different. Worry doesn’t solve anything; in fact, it tends to make it harder to sit down and think realistically about the situation and come up with possible solutions. If you believe in the Law of Attraction, you could argue that worrying actually makes the situation worse, because you’re focusing on bad stuff, which draws more bad stuff.

Now, of course the first thing I did after I started this was to get angry about something stupid. When I remembered the mantra I of course started judging myself for having gotten angry. So I had to give up being angry at the situation and then I had to give up judging myself for being angry.

I know it might sound simplistic or overly optimistic. But giving yourself permission to not worry or get angry can be a good technique to separate your emotional reactions from logic. When you take out the emotion it’s easier to find options and solutions.

Thanks for putting up with my philosophical ramblings again. I hope everyone is having a happy September!

Bouncin’ through yellow rocks? Why???

7 Sep

Hi, all – Babs here. I have to tell you, I’m really starting to worry about these humans. Now, being a rabbit, of course I like the countryside. Lots of grass, yummy clover, room to bounce free…

But this week was just a little too much. I admit, this yellow rocks place or whatever it was called did have some nice scenery. The humans were ooh’ing and aah’ing over all of the beautiful mountain roads, the views, buffalo in the distance (where they belong), and it was all well and good, but then they actually stopped to look at hot water spewing out of the ground. Not only that, but we had to wait for over an hour for it.

old-faithful

And it smelled AWFUL!! They wouldn’t even let me go exploring because of all the signs that said the ground was unsafe. I mean, what’s the use of a park where you can’t run where you want?

If that wasn’t bad enough, then they actually pulled over and got out of the RV to go look at a BEAR! I mean, seriously, a BEAR! Who in their right mind would actually run TOWARD a bear? Granted, it was on the other side of the river and from what they said it was busy munching on a moose leg or something, but still. No way in hell was I getting out of the vehicle to go tempting fate by parading around in front of some animal that would be more than happy to have me for lunch.

Bear in Yellowstone.jpg

Then when we got out of that scary park, they stopped at a place called Medicine Wheel. That sounded nice and safe, so I went along for the 3-mile mountain hike to see this place. Turns out it was just rocks in the ground, although I admit there was something odd about the feel of the place. They kept talking about how old it was but… come on, we’re talking about rocks here. They’re ALL OLD! Then it started raining and hailing on the way back to the RV, and I am not a fan of rain, much less hail. Of course I could have ran back by myself instead of staying with the slow humans, but that seemed rude, so I stayed and suffered with them. Besides, you just never know where those bears might be hanging out…

Medicine wheel.jpg

But we finally got out of the wild, wild West and are now back in civilization (a hotel room with television and everything!). Heading back to Denver for a concert this weekend. Then we’ll be bouncing to Pennsylvania next week. I’m looking forward to that since we haven’t been in the East for WAYYY too long.

Well, these humans have a lot of chainmail to make and it’s up to me to keep them motivated. Have a great week, everybody, and take it from me – bears are overrated. I thought their alligators were scary, but that bear just looked EVIL.

So back to work now. Gotta bounce!

What we’ve learned through the last year on the road…

29 Jul

So this week, having just passed the one-year anniversary of living on the road,  I decided to ask everyone to come up with the most important thing they’ve learned over the last year. Here are all of our answers.

Reggie: How to deal with stress. Heavy drinking, medications, crush your emotions down and deal with them later. Seriously, how to deal with my partners in a more mature way.

Evie: That I’m a stronger person than I thought I was.

Kasi: Not to argue with people in my head. I don’t know who said this, and I’m not qualified to defend it on an international level, but I have definitely come to believe it on an interpersonal level: “It is impossible to simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” No matter how private I think my thoughts are, if I’m waging war with someone in my head, they’re going to feel it. And even if they don’t know exactly what they’re feeling, they’re going to become convinced that they’re being attacked. And then they’ll attack back. It’s better to just let go of whatever it was  in the first place, and to resist the temptation to defend yourself when you feel like you’re being attacked.

I have to say, I think we’re all surprised that we survived the last year. There have definitely been some rough patches, and everybody has had to make many, many compromises and learn to let go of a lot of stuff. It hasn’t been easy, being stuffed in such a small space most of the time, constantly worried about money, trying to keep up with the demands of doing shows almost every weekend (and having to make stock for all of those shows!), and not having the luxury of an actual house to relax in. But we’ve all grown a tremendous amount, and we’ve had to constantly recommit to each other and to our common goals. I think, despite the bruises (mostly emotional) and the growing pains, that we’ve done a hell of a job pulling together and supporting each other. There isn’t any doubt in my own head that we’re all a lot stronger than we thought we were. And I, for one, am looking forward to the next adventure-filled year!

 

Bouncin’ in Denver

27 Jul

Hello, all – Babs here.

Well, we’re back in Denver for a bit. We got to go to Thunder in the Mountains, one of our favorite events. It was great to see people that we don’t get to see very often, and make a few new friends too. A busy weekend, but lots of fun (as always).

So now we have a couple of weekends off so we’re hanging around Colorado for a bit. Then we’ll be heading to Vegas for a show, after which we’ll stay in that part of the country to visit Salt Lake City.

This week Kasi is all excited because “her” movie is coming out. You might remember that she got to be an extra in the new Mila Kunis/Christina Applegate movie, “Bad Mom.” We think there’s a possibility of seeing the back of her head in one of the PTA scenes, so make sure you go and keep your eyes peeled for dark, fuzzy hair in one of the aisle seats! Reggie is waiting for the new Jack Reacher movie, where he got to wander around in a military uniform. I have to say it was kind of amusing seeing his face in an episode of SCI New Orleans. At least his was from the front!

I hope y’all are having a nice summer. We’re trying to build our stock back up after the wild few months we’ve had. It’s been a busy year so far, and we’re looking forward to more adventures. Hope to be able to see you as we come through!

Better get back to work. Reggie is starting to get “that” look. Gotta bounce!

The Second Agreement

8 Jul

Hello – Kasi here again. Everybody else is pretty busy so I’ll keep going with my series on The Four Agreements–if that’s okay.

The second agreement is “Don’t take anything personally.” This is something I’ve been working on for a long time, and I have to say it’s not an easy thing to learn.

I was thinking about a good way to illustrate the point, and this is what I came up with. Suppose you were at a nursing home, and a little old lady came up and started screaming at you, calling you a Nazi and accusing you of having had her family murdered. Now, this would probably be an upsetting event, right? You might feel very bad for the woman, for what she’s lived through, and for the fact that her mind is obviously not all it could be.

But would you lie awake at night wondering why she would treat you so badly? Would you be angry at the fact that she seemed to hate you? Would you obsess about it and replay the conversation in your head over and over again, coming up with witty or sharp comebacks that would have put her in her place?

No, you probably wouldn’t do any of those things. Why? Because you know that the episode was about what was going on in her head, not about anything you’d actually done.

And that’s a healthy way to look at anybody who you think is attacking you. Even if they think you did something to them, and even if you did, their attack is more about what’s going on in their head than what actually happened. You might legitimately owe them an apology, and if so you should offer one.

But the usual reaction is to get mad back, focusing on the fact that they’re attacking you. Then after the event we tend to obsess about it, feeling more and more aggrieved that they had the nerve to get angry at you. You want to make them feel like an asshole for making you feel like an asshole.

It’s kind of a vicious circle. Now they’re mad at you and you’re mad at them and nothing gets resolved. It’s a much better solution to accept the fact that they’re upset, offer any apologies you might owe them, and then realize that their anger is theirs to deal with, not yours. It’s not actually an attack on you; it’s simply them reacting to what’s going on in their own head.

Once you start practicing this, it becomes much easier to handle when someone’s angry at you. The best way I’ve found to practice it is to use a mantra from A Course in Miracles:  No attack thoughts. Realize that if you feel attacked it’s because you’re attacking back, even if it’s only that you’re offended that they’re attacking you. If you can let go of your defensive reaction, then it becomes easier to not see their anger as an attack. And once you can stop seeing it as a personal attack, it eventually stops being a personal attack. Don’t ask me why; I don’t understand it, but it seems to work.

Like I said, it’s a difficult concept to grasp, but practicing it has really contributed greatly to my peace of mind. And that’s not a bad thing at all.

Bouncin’ Around Chicago

6 Jul

Hello, all – Babs here.🙂 Hope everybody had a good Fourth of July! Personally I spent it under the bed–I just don’t see what they get out of those loud noises and flashing lights, but whatever.

So we’re in Chicago this week. We’ve had a week off so we’re just hangin’ out, bouncin’ around and making stock.

This weekend we’ll be at EXXXotica Chicago. These events are kind of new for us, and I have to say, they’re pretty interesting. I mean, humans could take a few lessons on the subject from us bunnies (just sayin’), but it’s kind of cool to watch them in action (so to speak).

After that we’re heading to a nudist resort in Indiana for an event the next week. Now, that IS amusing. Many of the humans there are completely comfortable with public nudity but my bunch just aren’t quite there yet. I’m hopeful that they’ll just get over it already, but I guess time will tell.

So, anyway, as always, if we’re near you please drop us a line and maybe we can get together! Talk to you later – gotta bounce!

The first agreement

1 Jul

Hello again – Kasi here. Time for another one of my philosophical ramblings.

But first, an apology from Babs. We’re hanging out this week in Illinois, near the Tall Grass Prairie area, and she’s been going crazy. She ate herself into a tall grass coma and is only just coming out of it now.

So, back to The Four Agreements. As we read through the first agreement, I was kind of surprised. I’d remembered “Be impeccable with your word” as a sort of keep-your-word and don’t-make-promises-you-can’t-keep thing. While that’s a good thing to do, it turns out the book was talking about something a little different.

The one thing that’s stuck in my mind all week after re-reading the chapter was the statement that however mean you are to yourself, you’re going to tend to be exactly that mean to other people. I know the first thing almost everybody is going to think here is “No, I always keep that stuff inside. I might want to let it out, but I don’t.”

Well, I’m betting you have several friends and family members who would disagree that you always keep it inside. We all tend to lash out sometimes, no matter how nice we think we are.

I heard once that whatever is done to you, you’ll do to other people. You might think that you won’t, because you know how miserable it was to be treated that way, but when your patience wears thin you’ll snap without necessarily being aware or having any control over what you’re doing.

So anyway, the “Be impeccable with your word” thing is really about not hurting yourself or other people by blaming, judging, etc. This isn’t to say that nobody has to take responsibility for their own actions; but beating up yourself (or someone else) for making mistakes doesn’t help anything.

It’s not easy to resist the urge to yell at yourself or to assign blame when things go wrong. But in the long run it’ll improve the lives of you and everybody that has to deal with you. So for all our sakes it’s something worth working on.

 

The Four Agreements

24 Jun

Hi – Kasi here. Everybody else is super busy right now, so I guess you get more of my esoteric ponderings. Sorry.🙂

If you haven’t read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, it’s a book I highly recommend. We’re reading it now as a family, but it’s been awhile since I read through it, so I can’t really summarize it for you. Except to say that if you work on the program in the book by practicing the four agreements, your life will be a lot more enjoyable and manageable.

The four agreements are:

Always be impeccable with your word

Take nothing personally

Always do your best

Make no assumptions

The second one I’ve always found the hardest to manage. I mean, how can you not take some things personally, when they’re obviously meant to be personal?

But the more I thought about it and worked on it, the more I realized that even if they were meant personally, they’re still not personal. If someone says something hurtful to you–in anger or otherwise–it really says more about that person than about you.

I don’t remember if it was in that book or another one, but I read someplace that if you don’t take things personally, eventually they will stop being personal. I’ve spent a lot of time working on that (and have a lot more progress to make yet!) and I think that’s kind of true. If you refuse to let someone hurt your feelings, eventually they’ll stop trying.

Now, that’s not easy. When someone hurts me, my natural reaction is to protect myself. I mean, right? I tense up and start trying to think of clever and hurtful things to say back to them (like, “Oh, yeah? Well, you’re an asshole too!”). But that just makes everything worse, because they’re only hearing your attack on them, and they tend to be completely unaware of their attack on you. (And vice versa.)

The Course in Miracles says that when you defend yourself, you’re actually attacking. That goes along with the not taking things personally, I think. If you take something personally, you’re going to automatically defend, and that comes across as an attack to the other person. I think a good practice is to, whenever you feel attacked, stop and think about how that means you’re attacking back, even if you don’t think you are. (Because, believe me, the other person probably does!)

I’ve developed my own little system of when I feel like someone is attacking me, I imagine it as them throwing arrows at me. I then intentionally stop all my reactions and imagine myself turning into a mist, so that their arrows fly right through without sticking. If I defend myself, I see it as grabbing the arrows and throwing them back–which is an attack, and just makes the situation worse.

I know that might sound silly, but it’s been working pretty well for me so far. I’ve gotten a lot better at not being reactive and prolonging bad situations. Anyway, thanks for listening to my ramblings! I hope you all have a wonderful, prosperous day!

 

Hoppin’ to KC!

22 Jun

Hi, all – Babs here.🙂

We’ve been relaxing in Denver for the past couple of weeks, with the exception of last weekend, which was Denver Pride. It was a great show, as always, with lots of really cool and fun people (well, since the temp was close to 100 degrees I guess they were pretty hot, but they were cool too).

Today we’re heading to Kansas City. We haven’t been there since the RT romance convention a couple of years ago, where I had my picture taken about a million times. (Does anybody remember meeting me there?)

This show is going to be really different, I think. It’s called a Maker’s Fair and it sounds like it’s going to be people who invent or handcraft things, including a bunch of kid inventors. That’s pretty cool. We’ve never done a show like that, and I’m kind of looking forward to hopping around to see all the different inventions. (That is, unless some wiseass invented a rabbit catcher or something!)

So, for those of you (and you know who you are!) who live anywhere near Kansas City (and I do mean Kansas or Missouri), make sure you contact us so we can try to get together for coffee or lettuce or something.

Reggie’s anxious to get on the road, so I guess I gotta bounce. See you in KC!

Being Happy

17 Jun

Hi everybody – Kasi here.

So this is another of my wu-wu self-help hippie posts.🙂 In case you don’t know, I read and think a lot about how to be happy. It might seem like a superficial, selfish kind of thing to think about, especially in light of all the terrible things in the world, but I really think it’s the most important thing you can work on.

Why? Because if you’re miserable, you’re going to make everyone around you miserable. The way I see it, you have two choices: you can get freaked out by every little thing that doesn’t go the way you think it should, or you can learn to deal with the shit that comes up in your world while maintaining your own peace of mind and a sense of contentment.

There’s an excellent book that I talk about a lot. It’s called “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. One section of this book is particularly resonating with me lately. Mr. Singer says that people will say things like, “I want to be happy, but my husband left me,” or “I lost my job,” or whatever. This is saying that the world needs to be a certain way in order for you to be happy.

When you stop to think about it, this means that you can never be happy. Let’s face it; the world (and your life) is never going to be exactly the way you want it to be. It would be like playing Whack-a-Mole: you are always on guard,  watching for the little moles to pop up, hoping for a time when they stop so that you can finally relax and be happy. The problem is those moles never stop. You have to learn to be happy even while you’re dealing with them. It’s a long road to get to that point, but I have faith that it’s possible.

The first step along that road, I think, is to recognize when you’re trying to force things to be a certain way, and to learn to catch that thought: “I could be happy if that happened.” I’ll leave you with my new favorite saying: The cause of all suffering is knowing how things should be.

Take care and be happy!