Category Archives: personal growth

61–“On Imperfection, For Corax” from “Frazzle”

Public Art in Dallas: The Eye, photo by M D Mikus, Copyright 2014

1/28/14

On Imperfection
For Corax

On the other side of darkness
the past looks far away,
and if I didn’t know better,
mostly forgotten.

Live in the now,
isn’t that what they say?
I agree mostly and also intend
to remember my lessons:

not to repeat same old mistakes,
not to let the unconscious pilot the course,
to remember to breathe,
to always be kind and

to forgive, every day forgive
imperfection. For here we learn
by being in form, subject to complex patterns
we cannot sense or anticipate.

If we were perfect—
which we are somewhere—
what would be the point of
choosing to go to Earth-school?

As long as we are here—
those numbered precious days,
those rare allotted minutes—
we have work to do.

Get on with it.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2014

From Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing.
And Transcending Boundaries: Inspired by Eric Whitacre and Virtual Choir.

Listen here: https://youtu.be/E1vMFwdGa_E

Today it was hard to convince myself that making these videos matters. It seemed that anything I can do is insignificant in the face of massive challenges and national upheaval. Yet…none of us is alone. We inspire each other. We each do our part, right? When I considered not recording, I felt heavier, less hopeful. Maybe that is enough of a reason: to feel lighter, to hope, and perhaps inspire hope. For these few moments, let us demonstrate resilience…together. I am grateful for your presence.

Eye in Daylight, Dallas, photo by M D Mikus, Copyright 2014

For more poem videos in the series

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transcending Boundaries: Inspired by Eric Whitacre and Virtual Choir

55–Experiment and “Stronger than You Think” from “Frazzle”

Moon Over Water, Egg Harbor by M D Mikus, Copyright 2010

“…In the dark
the seed of light

a path to follow out….”

From “Stronger than You Think,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here: https://youtu.be/riXeccP3MMA

For today’s video I am doing an experiment: Before my poetry readings and healing workshops I used to do some easy exercises levels with the group to reduce stress, including for me. Why not try it here?

Begin with three deep “letting go” breaths—in through the nose, out through the mouth, noticing how we felt before and after. Such a simple thing, easy to forget: conscious breathing.

Then let’s do one of the exercises from the sheet, Energetic Life Balancing Waker’s Dozen. These are 13 gentle movements to balance energy levels as a daily practice. They were devised in 1989 (drawn from many disciplines) by Robert Waldon, Ph.D., N.D. and Betty Lou Lieber, Ph.D., M.F.C.C. and used with their permission.

On the video I demonstrate #7, called “Emotional Stress Release.” (My family calls it the “head hug.”) It’s the first one I learned and I’ve been doing it twice a day for 20 years. At that time I still had multiple sclerosis and I was working with several complementary medical practitioners to cope better. Doing this was a homework assignment to do for 15 minutes twice a day. MS is a very stressful disease and episodes can also be triggered by stress, so this was a good skill to focus on.

Lay one hand gently on the forehead and one on the back of the neck (in contact with the skin). You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down. You can visualize it. You can switch hands. You can do it for someone else (ask first, please). (Mothers intuitively know that it is calming for stressed out children to put your hand on their forehead.) You can do it for however long you have—less than a minute or 15 minutes or more. You can add some affirmations to say while you do the “head hug,” or hum a single tone (not singing). I do it in the morning before getting out of bed and last thing at night. If needed I also do it in the middle of the day as a recharge or power nap (even without sleeping). If I forget, I can feel the difference.

When we are less stressed we have more energy to do what we need to do. And that is very important in these chaotic times. We also have more functional immune systems and are nicer to be around, which benefits everyone.

And that brings us full circle back to our poem: “You Are Stronger than You Think.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/riXeccP3MMA

Seagulls, Door County by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2010

For more poem videos in the series

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

45–“Selective Memory” from “Frazzle”

Walking to the Pond by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2016

“…I am only aware of
where I am and what is
now going on,
what healing is yet undone.
I forget where I came from…”

From poem 45, “Selective Memory,” in my book, “Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine” Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/VdRt7-CbkSg

One day at a time, this project is teaching me to be where I am, not to jump ahead even one day. It is guiding me to take care of myself, be more balanced, less anxious. If I want to deliver the poems—and I do—I have to be focused and healthy, as rested as I can.

On the good days I take a lovely walk to the pond down the road, perhaps a poem begins in my head as I go. If it’s not a good day and my only two smiles are at the beginning and end of that day’s video, at least I remember I can smile. And I feel a certain sense of accomplishment at getting another poem recorded.

My intention is still to sequentially read all the poems from “Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine.” At one per day, it will take over a year. You and me, sitting at the table, maybe we have cups of herbal tea with honey. Thanks for listening. See you tomorrow.

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

38–“An Accounting” from “Frazzle”

“…To remember to be
where I am at this moment…”

From poem 38, “ An Accounting,” from my book, “Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/rcdyY3_8x50

It’s easy to take life for granted, the wondrous body working away, heart beating, air to breathe, etc.…until it is taken away, even temporarily. A daily practice of gratitude can change everything. In this exact moment what are you grateful for? What just popped into your head without thinking about it?

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

36–” Perfectly Imperfect” from “Frazzle”

Change Manifest, California Shore by M D Mikus, Copyright 2013

“It is hard to be
out of sync with my body.
The body speaks and
I don’t listen,

I try but
don’t entirely succeed
to remember healing
is a process…”

From poem 36, “Perfectly Imperfect,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and HealingListen here: https://youtu.be/x5pfX7iigzs

Although I am in some ways the same, I am also different now from the woman who wrote these poems 7 years ago, however revealing and personal. I made it through the times described in the book, to the “other side.” The nature of healing and transformation, of course, is that you are changed at the end. When reading these poems for you now, I inhabit them (and her), open my heart, and deliver. With a bit of distance, I perceive things I was not able to see then. But I am aware of the changes, even the way I write has changed.

I began a poetic journal after healing from multiple sclerosis 21 years ago. My creativity was “cracked open.” The poems act as a kind of truer memory, the details and emotions of an event written down at the time are not subject to the fogginess of remembering things only in my head. If you’ve ever compared recollections of growing up with your siblings, you know what I mean.

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing