Posted by: drjamm | November 27, 2008



Today I spent my “free time” taking summer clothes out of my closet and hanging up the warmer winter garb. I realize that some might consider the last week of November a tad late for shifting to the cold season’s clothes; but it usually takes me awhile to finally accept that the summer is over and the long Dark Winter is coming. So for an hour, I had piles of hangers: hangers being taken down with summer clothes coming off and then hangers being put up again with winter clothes going on. I had piles of hangers everywhere when I joking thought to myself, “Where is the spirituality in this moment?”

Then, looking at the pile of hangers, I thought of “hang-ups.” I thought of hang-ups as habits — usually “bad” habits that get in my way. But then, I realized that when I thought of hang-ups, I, also, thought of the habits I have intentionally conditioned into my Self to “get in the way” of my “old” patterns of thoughts and behaviours. Have I got any hang-ups I am willing to confess here?


Well, keeping my private hang-ups private, here is my “laundry list” of bad and good hang-ups (in the order they popped into my mind):

(1) “commercial” TV,  radio, and newspapers – more and more these days I am becoming intolerant of any media where the producers have to sell advertising because mostly “blood and gore” sells, and I cannot stomach the horrendously violent content of so-called “news” and “entertainment.” I’ll do anything to avoid “popular” ad-based media and media violence. If need be, I’ll stick to publicly-funded media sources for my information on world events.

(2) housework – obviously anyone who can wait three months before pulling out this season’s clothes has a problem with housework.

(3) kitchen hygiene – surprisingly, given #2 above, I am zealous about the kitchen meeting professional standards for hygiene. Our cat knows to run fast so I don’t see that she has been sitting on the counter top– or licking a bowl. Obviously, with a cat in the house, wanting hygiene and getting hygiene are not necessarily the same thing!

(4) coloured pens – I need my coloured pens, lined up, and preferably in rainbow order, to be able to write. No coloured pens? Sorry, no work.

(5) tea – like #4 above, except No tea? No work.

(6) anger – When will I ever learn to avoid getting “hot and bothered” over daily trials and tribulations? I don’t mean Righteous Anger. I would never want to suppress my healthy anger over the violation of someone’s human rights, for example. But I seem to make the slowest-progress-ever in finding calm ways to react to Life’s ups and downs. So I burnt the pancakes, chipped the plate, got a parking ticket, missed the ferry, forgot a meeting: so what? Yes, it would be better if I could avoid these errors, but since they have happened anyway, when will I be able to let them go instead of piling heaps of angry criticisms upon myself or others? And to add insult to injury, my un-righteous anger invariably saps my energy long after I have vented. I wish I could follow the advice of the BareNakedLadies and say to my Self “you can always get it right next time” and move on with a modicum of Grace.  I really wish I could learn – and use – alternative responses to “grumpy” anger.

(7) lip stick – Lip stick is great for people who love lipstick, I just don’t like lip stick on MY lips. I find I am uncompromising and unrepentant on this point.

(8) writing – I have to write. I simply have to write. I have to write to feel like my day is a Good day. I would even consider using lip stick to write with, if that was all I had handy. A day without writing feels gray, dull, and un-inspired. Besides writing is WAAAY more fun that housework!

(9) chocolate – I am hopeless: when the “going gets tough,” I get going for chocolate.

(10) The Friend – Lately this growing awareness that I am often in the company of The Friend – as Sufi Poets refer to the Divine – is my biggest “hang-up.” I don’t know if my Friend is Angel, Goddess, God, Spirit Guide or “all of the above.” Increasingly, I am so delightfully aware that I am “in conversation” with Presence. Granted, sometimes my “conversation” is more like a complain-a-thon. And at other times, in some beautiful moments, during some beautiful days, I feel as if I am waltzing in the supportive arms of a Holy Dancer, all the while chatting about my day. I am ever so pleasantly “hung-up’ on living my Life in a way that nurtures and encourages Holy Dancing with the Friend.

Well, this is my off-the-top-of-my-head-laundry-list of good and bad hang-ups. I’ll stop here – at 10 – so as not to tire you out.  It’s been, in equal measures, both therapeutic and fun to come up with this hang-up list.

May your “hang-ups” ultimately lead you to getting your Self out of your way so you may continue on your Right Path. Shalom and Shanti.

Credits and links: The above photo of hangers can be found at:

bright heart singing, copyright 2008 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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