Involving One

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This group of flash fiction stories have ‘one’ thing in common. They are stories that mainly feature one person. Something happens to this one person and because of that a change occurs. In the first story, all it takes is a look for the protagonist to become defensive.

Change Unwanted

The librarian scans my book – a ‘Meals for One’ cookbook and I see her give me the look of sympathy. Next, she will point out the library programs. She’ll tell me that not only will I learn about genealogy or knitting, I will have an opportunity to meet people! I won’t argue, but I believe shallow socializing is highly over-rated.
Just once, I’d like someone to ask me about my secret for enjoying my own company. I know I’m different but I’m still okay.
If there were a book with that title, I’d buy it for the library.

Author notes – A prediction, based perhaps on past events and a secret wish reveals much about the character. The quite generic book title in the first sentence orients the reader to the story problem; the italics imply an ongoing conflict for the protagonist.

The Apple Stand

The bag of a dozen apples only contains ten. I know I should take them back and complain. I’ve been shortchanged. Another part of me scoffs; for two apples? Who are you, the apple morality squad?
It wouldn’t be hard to do. I can turn around and walk back to their fruit stand right now. Or. I never buy from them again. Let my boycott tell them my dissatisfaction.
I bet they took one look and knew I could be fooled. Like always.
No. That’s crazy thinking.
I’ll just say that I’m short two apples. Simple.

Author notes – In this story the internal dilemma is that of a disgruntled customer. The dialogue, which I point out in the story, is between self and ‘another part of me,’ and as such requires no quotation marks. While the ending- a one-word sentence – implies a resolution but there is some ambiguity as well. The title serves as a clue to the setting and a hint to the story’s meaning.

Secret Revealed

“Congratulations, you have won a consultation.” The heavily accented voice says they’re calling from The Astrology Center of Montreal, Quebec.
“Where?”
“The Astrology Center. I will transfer you for your personalized session.”
“Thank you but I am not interested.”
I hung up as I do with these types of calls, but the incident lingered in my mind. How unusual, how bizarre. Perhaps I have just turned down a mystic message, a prediction. Then I see the phone display; the call originated in Oregon. They weren’t at all honest; just another scammer that I just know would ask for money or information.
But I wanted it to be real. That’s a newly discovered secret.

Author notes – This is one of those ‘from life’ stories. I did get this phone call, but had to put on my writer’s cap to give it story logic. ‘Heavily accented voice’ heightened the sense of strange event, as did the locations I chose, just in case the Astrological Center wasn’t odd enough. I took extra pains to not repeat words although the ideas were very similar – consultation or personalized session. Same idea behind the use of prediction, message, and secret. The occasional repeat of a word is not noticeable in longer fiction but in flash fiction, unintentional repetition shows a lack of polish.

Liz Betz is a retired rancher who loves to write fiction. Her pastime seems to help her days go by, her brain to stay active and sometimes keeps her out of trouble. An overactive imagination is a wonderful thing to harness, but left alone…Her publication credits are many and varied as she explores the fictional world of mostly somewhat older but not necessarily mature characters.

Energy and Health: Part Two

By Emily Matweow

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.  

Dalai Lama 

Summary of The Basics

We Have a Physical Body and an Energy Body

The physical and the energy body overlap each other.

When the physical body doesn’t have any energy in it, we say it is “dead”.

It is the “energy” that makes the bag of skin and bones get up and walk around.

When the “energy” body gets sick, it often shows up as “ailments” in the physical body.

Physical Body Healers

The traditional approach has been to fix ailments of the physical body using “the knife” and “drugs” as the primary types of intervention.  Physical body healers almost always need the physical body present to do their diagnostics and healing interventions.

Doctors aren’t trained to recognize energy body ailments or treat them, they have to wait until the energy body problem starts affecting the physical body (e.g. stress causes high blood pressure and heart problems that are then treated with drugs; anxiety/fear causes digestion/ulcer problems that are treated with drugs etc.).

The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.

Ayn Rand

Energy Body Healers

Many physical body ailments can also be dealt with on the energy level that caused them – sometimes even before the physical body starts breaking down.  Energy body ailments are things that can’t be “touched” in reality, but we know they exist and are real.  For example, our “emotions” can’t be touched, but they are very real.    

Energy healers are trained to identify problems (imbalances) with our energy bodies and can deal with the energy body problems in different ways. Some energy healing professionals need to have the physical body present to do their work.  For example, an acupuncturist will stick pins into various energy flow points in the physical body to “adjust the flow” and put it back into balance. 

Other types of energy body healers can analyze energy body problems and perform interventions without having to be in the presence of the physical body. That’s because your energy body is not jailed inside your physical body – it extends outside of it. For example, while a campfire has a physical location, the heat it puts out (its energy) can still be felt some distance away from the fire itself.  Heat sensing machines can identify the campfire heat from long distances and even through buildings (like we see on TV when special ‘goggles’ see people in a distant building). Some energy healers are like very sensitive heat measuring machines and can actually detect an individual person’s energy from a long distance and through physical matter.

In the same way that many radio stations transmit their signals at the same time, your radio can tune-in to one of those stations so you hear only “country music”.  Every person is an “original”, a one-and-only.  They each have a unique energy signature that some energy healers, when they focus, can detect and separate from all the other noise.  Just like a radio.  That’s how they can do their work on a person’s energy body without having to be in the presence of that person’s physical body.

What Only You Can Be Responsible For

Energy from outside the body (e.g. cell phone related microwaves, florescent lights, nearby hydro lines, toxic people, perceptions and beliefs etc.) bombard the body and disrupt normal energy flows. While it is true that “the body was designed to heal itself”, an increasingly toxic modern environment puts greater demands upon us to release our inherited limitations and strengthen and better maintain our body’s energy systems than ever before.

About Emily Matweow

I believe people have the ability to reach a place where all things are possible.
A place where becoming the best you were designed to be means letting go and embodying the everyday magic that is your birthright.
My own magical transformation came suddenly, in 1990, when I was diagnosed with an incurable disease and told I’d be hearing and vision impaired – lucky if only a paraplegic. Today, I’m an avid deep-water photographer, a classically trained pianist, I engage in competitive Latin dancing, and amongst other things, am getting better with each canvas I paint!
I’m living proof that what others said was impossible for me – was not true.
My journey to wellness evoked a deep desire to help people have profound healing experiences. I have committed my life to helping people break-through their healing crises and their limiting beliefs to live the full potential of their lives.

Some of the Excuses

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Through the years I have become well read on the topic of procrastination and have seen the benefits of my studies. This specific area of knowledge pops up in these three flash fictions.

No Weeds Pulled

On Monday she realizes it is her turn to weed in the community garden. Really this is much effort with little reward, she struggles to remember why she volunteered. Tuesday she’s told by another gardener that she must pick her weeds and dispose of them, not leave them lying on the ground. She’s been singled out for this abuse. On Wednesday she longs for a partner from the community, not that mean fellow but someone to work along beside her. They could visit. Thursday, she views the many rows and sighs. It’s too much and she’s so tired. By Friday she’s not sure she knows which are weeds, she really doesn’t know how to proceed. Saturday’s thinking centers on her fear of failure, if she’s the one that has destroyed the garden, she’ll die. Now it’s Sunday. She’d weed and do a good job of it too, but really, she is afraid of success and the position becoming permanent.

Author notes; it’s painfully obvious that the gardener in my story No Weeds Pulled, is procrastinating. The story structure form use of the days of the week provides a platform for her thinking errors but also portrays the sneaky way that procrastination works.

Smoothly

She reads about the smooth transition between mental activity and physical activity. Reading is more cerebral than action based, but in her defense, she is figuring things out. A procrastinator needs to have a plan of action. She’s working on that.
The phone rings and the caller wonders what she is doing. She can’t answer, because to say she was planning would lead to questions she might not be able to answer, so instead, she says she was reading a book.
“Good. You have time to help me clean out my garage. I’ve put it off long enough.”
She says yes, after all, this request came smoothly and she wasn’t really doing anything.
Oh. That’s so true.

Author notes; when she says ‘all cerebral and no action.’ the story’s point is made. The starting sentence orients the reader to a specific idea about procrastination and the rest of the story expands on this.
Then there is the right plan, and the right help and nothing should stop you now but there are always…

Complications

It’s best that I not criticize or complain but my so-called friend complicated things. The idea was to make my business run smoother and help me get things done efficiently. That’s where I needed help. This friend shows me a routine for accounting; he sets up a spread sheet, creates a billing system. Then because he believes that nothing should be a single-use item, he shows me some option concerning online marketing. Afterwards he shows me several games I could ‘chill’ with.
Incredible. I’ve become more efficient, all right. I work my way through the game, I can’t stop. I’m at level eleven!

Author notes; this flash story form is one I use often – best laid plans gone astray. The objective of the protagonist is plainly stated at the story start and the results are similarly ‘named’ for the sake of clarity. The protagonist has discovered that getting sidetracked is procrastinating at full speed.

Liz Betz

Liz Betz is a retired rancher who loves to write fiction. Her pastime seems to help her days go by, her brain to stay active and sometimes keeps her out of trouble. An overactive imagination is a wonderful thing to harness, but left alone…Her publication credits are many and varied as she explores the fictional world of mostly somewhat older but not necessarily mature characters.

Oh dear! What will the neighbours think?

By Liberty Forrest

Do you worry about what other people will think about you? Do you worry about what they’ll think of your choices? Or the choices of your partner, your children, your siblings – or anyone else, for fear that there’s a “guilt by association” issue?

If the answer is “Yes,” ask yourself why.

“They might think I’m nuts!” 

“They might think I’m awful!”

“They might think I’m (fill in the blank)!”

And your point is…???

Chances are, they won’t think any of that. Sure, some might, but truthfully most won’t because really, people aren’t spending all that much time thinking about what we do. I mean, do you sit around for countless hours worrying about everyone else’s decisions? Do you spend loads of your time contemplating and judging the actions of others to the point that it keeps you from your own life? I doubt it.

Sure, maybe you give them a passing thought now and then. Perhaps you even chat with other people about it. And maybe you even have an opinion or you admit to judging them.

But do you really spend loads of time being preoccupied with other people’s business? Not likely. And if you do, it means you’re probably doing it to avoid looking at your own life, your own unhappiness and what needs to change.

Even more importantly, so what if they do think you’re nuts or awful or (fill in the blank again)? Anyone who really knows you and really cares about you isn’t gonna give a rat’s @$$ what you do.

People who want to judge you are just being arrogant, forgetting that they aren’t perfect and forgetting that they’re probably doing things about which others might have a comment or two to make. It’s something people do sometimes to compensate for their own failings. When they can feel superior to others, somehow it makes them feel better about themselves.

Those people’s self-righteous attitudes don’t deserve your wasted time and energy. Leave them to their own insecurities and inadequacies. Let them gossip as much as they want with others. Are you really going to worry about what people like that are going to think about you?? I sure hope not.

Besides, even if you tried to live your life based on what everyone else thinks, you’d never get it right anyway. You’d get some of it right with some of the people some of the time. But there would always be a lot of people who’d be thinking you were doing it wrong because everyone is going to view things differently than others do.

So you might as well not bother trying to make them all happy, and just worry about pleasing yourself. Doesn’t that make a whole lot more sense? And doesn’t it give you a happy little lift in your chest? An expanded energy that feels kind of light and delicious with a good dollop of freedom, perhaps?

After all, that’s the only way you’re ever going to find your bliss, be fulfilled, feel happy, explore and discover who you really are and help you become who you’re meant to be. Do you suppose you’ll be on your deathbed someday, wishing you’d spent more time trying to dance to everyone else’s tune? Do you suppose that you’ll be lying there thinking about the choices other people made throughout their lives and how you could have given them advice on how to do it better?

Do you suppose those people will be on their deathbeds, thinking about you, your life and choices, and wishing you’d done things their way?

Uh, probably not happenin’. More likely, they’ll see the error of their ways and be wishing they’d been more tolerant, less judgmental, and allowed people to thrive and grow and just BE.

So if you’re just going to end up causing yourself and a lot of other people nothing but deathbed distress, perhaps you’ll want to start now and just look after yourself, doing what you want, don’t what you need, and doing what you think is right – for you.

It’s the best chance you’ve got to be happy, to be the best YOU that you can be, ’cause at the end of the day – and at the end of your life – what else is there that’s worth the effort?

Liberty Forrest

Liberty Forrest is an award-winning author, an editor, and contributor on Huffington Post and Thrive Global. Read more about Liberty…

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