I have not written here in a while. The reason for this is transparency.
As a friend reminded me the other day; this blog is about truth. I could not write the way I write and be truthful, light-hearted or anything really. I needed to come to a place where I was comfortable to tell you my truth. I stepped away from the meadow for a bit to think. I had writer’s constipation and a dreadful case of no-funny-itis. Now I am here.
So a month ago I went back to the hospital to find out how Fred was doing and the aneurysm. Turned out that Fred wasn’t doing so good and the aneurysm was still filling with blood, not a good sign. So all of my scans and goodies were sent off overseas to many other leading world experts to find out what could be done. It was now an even more special case. We waited 2 weeks. More brain surgery was the most likely outcome, the thought of which made my blood run cold. Disappointed but with very hopeful hearts we waited. We returned to be told that the conclusive opinion was that there is nothing more we can do, (with a whole lotta other stuff I wont bore you with) We are sorry. I said; what do I need to do? Response; you need to grow some cells.
I will not tell you what transpired over those hours. Some stuff just stays between a woman and her man, and a woman and her God.
We came home.
I walked around the house silent and devoid of any feeling. I was numb and shut down like a vault.
Not long after this something annoyed me and I spat sparks like Mount Vesuvius. It was at that moment I knew there was molten lava building up and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I was within 2 moments of giving up- my chest felt like a dust bowl. No feeling means Uh Oh. Because underneath the Uh Oh was a big Oh Shit. I knew I had to go somewhere To Be. I couldn’t be like this around my children and my husband, I was hurting and I didn’t want them to see it. I was sooooo tired. Tired of it all.
Putting on your big girl pants constantly is so tiring, the elastic was stretched, the cotton was torn and I had RSI from the upward pull, my wriggle was gone and the pants were saggy. My cup of concrete had run dry, 4 years will do that to you.
My children are so perceptive and Lothario needed to process gently without worrying about me. Well at least this is what I thought at the time. The other part I knew intrinsically after these years of mindful action was that there was no way that all of this anger was going to help me. It was bad for my stress response; it was not an ideal environment to heal. And I needed to grow new cells better than David Austen does roses; so the soil had to be right.
So I did what any middle class mother from the suburbs does when she gets given disruptive news; I went to an Ashram. It seems my at home retreat idea I mentioned in my last blog wasn’t going to cut it. I needed the real deal.
I know right? It’s so eat pray freaking love. I am a complete cliché. The Ashram had been mentioned to me by my Kinesiology and meditation teacher a few months before. I couldn’t believe that a full working Ashram was less than 2 hours from my house. It had personal retreats and Mouna (periods of silence). Who needed India? I had Wombat State Forrest!
So I threw my little family into disarray and Mamma Bear took off for a while.
This was harder for me than I have words for and there was snotty crying all the way but instinctively I knew it had to be done. My heart screamed STAY and yet I needed a place of quiet reflection.
I am a bit of a chatterbox, I like to have a yarn at times. (No really?) My father says I can talk under water with a mouth full of marbles. So when I told my family I was going to an Ashram for personal retreat where there were long periods of silence (NO TALKING AT ALL) there were a few grins. Self combustion was discussed and the very real possibility of a quick return home.
The periods of long silence and lack of human interpersonal contact via communication or eye contact was completely unsettling at first.
I had never experienced it before- it was so new to me. Being by myself and in silence is one thing, I do enjoy being on my own at times; but to be around others and be in silence is another. No mobile phones, No television, No outside interaction. So you are left with the wind, the sounds of the trees and birds and most importantly you are left with YOU.
I did get really desperate one afternoon and had a mind conversation with an old Kangaroo who was shading himself under a bush, he looked at me at one stage with one eyebrow raised as if to say “Bitch Please. You are talking to a Large Marsupial telepathically. Its time to call the dudes in the whites with a van, get an injection of happy time and chill, someone has been putting somthin freaky in the pear juice. “
My room consisted of a bed, a table and a lamp. No decorative features. Any ornate factors belonged to nature or the beautiful temples there. There was an awful lot of space. Just me and Papa G. Whoa.
There was one particular night when I realised that I was excellent at filling space. I filled space like a pro with children, relationships, business meetings, study, Netflix, hobbies, workouts and reading books, meditation, cooking, helping others. You name it, I filled the gaps. A busy happy mind is conducive to making things happen you see, being a go- getter and getting things DONE is the best way to be. Positivity breeds Positivity, so lets fill my world with endless positivity add a few naps and a bit of me time is all you need… yeah right…
Now I had infinite space with nothing to fill it with but me.
So what did me have to say? Me asked a shit load of weird things that went a little something like this;
If disease is caused by negative thoughts then isn’t death the ultimate failure for a positive thinker?
What trauma do I have I am still hanging on to?
How do I tell my kids this news? You don’t have anything to tell them. Nothings really happened.
I’m so sick of having to report back to people about everything.
I’m so exhausted from spreading bad news like a virus
I put hope in other people’s hands. People I thought knew to fix me. It didn’t work. Yes it did. You are still here.
They are the experts and they cant do any more to help.
Why do I still think I am not good enough?
Good enough for what?
You’re hurting everyone you know.
This is painful, I am causing pain.
This is not right.
This is not fair.
Why am I so scared?
I’m really broken now.
Why was I talking to a kangaroo?
I really need chocolate now.
Actually chocolate and a big arse glass of wine.
You’ve done it again, you have told everyone you are fine and you are NOT FINE
How on earth is he going with the children?
I hope they haven’t burnt the house down
They can’t survive without me
My genetics suck
Being old is so overrated…hmmm I should have brought chocolate
You know you need to smile, you need to forget about you and concentrate on those around you who need you
Pull up your big girl pants and get on with it, you can’t get angry
You mustn’t get angry or be sad
The medical profession has all the answers
Thought you were so clever being healthy, meditating, praying, being so good, it didn’t get you very far did it? Clever girls come last don’t they?
Trav didn’t sign up for this
I’ve ruined my kids lives
My toenails need painting
Man what is that hair growing outta my knee?
I wonder if I bought the tweezers
I’ve lost the plot and I am a terrible human
None of these were true. They were all expressions and echoes of pain learned and attached to me like stitches in a blanket that I had wrapped around myself over 39 years without even realising it. We do funny things to survive, people tell us funny things and then they get reinforced by outside events along the way. We learn the stitches but they are not a part of the beginning fabric. I spent time gently unpicking the stitches and taking a look, then putting it back together again without the bits I didn’t need anymore.
The acknowledgement and release of all these facets made way for new discoveries and ideas. Unearthing both frantically frightening and joyful elements like a miner with a trowel was more beneficial, complex and free-ing than anything I’ve experienced to this date. It’s a big call right?
I bushwalked, I cried, I wrote, I drew, I prayed, I chanted, I learned a whole different breed of Yoga, I read books, I had in-depth chats about life and death with a Swami, I drank and ate with monks, I laughed. I meditated within an inch of my life; learning Meditation that made me feel like there really are Jedi. I had a frog jump on my hand and apparently I am now no longer allergic to coconut; I acknowledge that this is completely random and a story for another time.
I did all of this in an environment that was pure and special. I felt it the moment I walked around the property.
The food would put Jamie Oliver to shame; Permaculture based on hundreds of years of knowledge and it was like walking into the garden of Eden, if you love growing fruit and veg, this was pretty spesh. This feeds the entire Ashram; we ate Vegetarian Organic, beautifully prepared dishes that had been specifically chosen for the body’s absolute purity. I was a bit impressed can you tell?
This place was filled with classes and possibilities for you to choose in this space of quiet and gentle contemplation, nothing is forced. Interesting people with elegant and gentle space is what I felt. These amazing people have opened up their Ashram for the modern world human to enter and experience being human again. Some people just go there to paint write and sleep.
And as I felt myself come gently back together, I started smiling.
A sense of peace started to enter the space, my sense of connection to all that was around me heightened. The volcano embers had been expelled and replaced with deep breaths.
There is a very strong theory that past trauma can sit within the layers of different consciousness and create either disease or a body environment that is out of balance which can create illness. I knew this, and have spent many years letting go, practising forgiveness and turning over what I thought was nearly every rock. There’s been tapping, CBT, NLP, ABC, 123, you name it, I’ve tried it. They are all great stepping stones to wellness and mindfulness, but they are not the answer to everything. I had missed a key point, my body knew exactly what it needed all along. It knew. I knew. I had to be in a moment of complete option-run out, come to Jesus-holy shit moment to be left with nothing. When you have nothing to go to You go within and then that’s when God happens. This is when we are truly listening to what it is we need to have a present, calm and balanced life. None of us knows when our time here has come for us to have the next Grand Adventure, part of being human is the feeling of being a human, the broken that is human. You are a human Be-Ing. Some of us are so busy fixing and filling our lives, we forget about the being part.
It isn’t mystical, philosophical or religious. You appreciate living in a world of 5 elements with a mind that reacts and is able to perceive and appreciate on whatever level.
My body is made of these elements and minerals. This is what feeds them. I can be sustained. The most natural thing in the world is for an organism to build cells. It does it every day.
I’m pretty sure I can grow these cells if I haven’t already. If my body mind and spirit are primed for good healthy cell growth, then my body will do the rest with a bit of Gods Grace. If it is to be then it will be. I think it might be just that simple. As a monk said to be last week; You are already doing it.
I just got used to these digs and there is housekeeping to be done. I got myself weddings to attend, grand babies to hold and countries to soiree in as well as a book under my belt to get published. Plus I want to see what Lothario looks like as an old bugger, I reckon he is going to rock a paunchy belly and grey hairs. Plus I learned some amazing new Yoga positions, I can balance on one leg properly and I have a sneaking suspicion I can do Jedi Mind Control now. Just sayin.
When I came home we decided that we have had enough of fear hanging over our heads and monthly check ups- MRIs and Angiograms, Brain Surgeries. We are going to get on with our lives now. I am going to get on with my life. Because this is my life. Right now.
If you decide to hang about you are going to hear some ponderings about life, hopefully they will be interesting (I’ve written enough fodder when I was away to write 60 blogs…so there’s plenty to go around if you are up for it).
In the meantime – Kiss someone you love, forgive someone you need to and hopefully we will walk in the meadow again soon. Xxx Kirsten
PS- Rocklyn Ashram details are HERE for those who are interested – xx
Last Blog I told you about my beautiful Nanna who was very very sick. We were told to help her be comfortable and wait for the inevitable. Well with our typical family style the exact opposite happened. She was offered something and she grasped it with both hands, armed with faith and gave it her best. 3 weeks later and there is a new improvement each day. We are feeling truly blessed. What she received instigated some thoughts, ponderings and perspectives…
There is this word in our world that is used and overused, and it is the precise measurement of it, the lack of it or the abundance of it that makes all the difference. This one word transcends all barriers and is a part of who we are, what drives us, holds us back or even evades us. Are you guessing I am going to say money? No, not money. The “world” would have us think its money that rules us, reigns over us or lifts us high. But it isn’t. Honestly.
We use this word I am talking about so much that I think it may have even lost its meaning a little bit along the way. All language comes from somewhere, its roots are deep in our history and linguistics, I am a bit of a dork and I love etymology, or the study of origins of words. Somewhere in time there was a need to express something, and a word evolved to describe it and to communicate what we needed. Riveting stuff? (please don’t laugh at me- seriously I like this stuff and I am coming out of the nerdy closet today- loud and proud)
This word started out as a little Latin Ob meaning “towards,” then grew into Portu meaning “port” or “passage” it then travelled to Greece where it added extra meaning Poros “an opening”. A chance. A time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. What is the magic word? – Opportunity. I like to think of it as a moment in time when all the circumstances work in together and a porthole is opened to take a chance on a path, a secret passage way has revealed itself. But do we always see it? Are we always awake enough to see this passageway, this path or opening? Are we in the right place to know it for what it is? Because they aren’t all good doorways, portholes and passages, some of them are destructive.
One thing is very true; they are everywhere and it’s the negotiation and recognising of them that makes all the difference.
Have you ever met a cranky person over the age of 55, who scowls and is never happy? Never happy with how much money they have or where they live, what they do, what the weather is like…everything is BLAH. What you have there is a perfect case of Missed Opportunity. Either they never saw the pathways and passages or they did and it was too late. The lack of Opportunity inevitably leads to discomfort, resentment, disillusion and bitterness.
Have you ever heard of a person who self-destructs and uses destructive acts to hurt themselves and others? Who develop bigotry towards those who have the appearance of “having it all.”? They actually resent others for doing well whilst at the same time perpetuating their own pain? Again, a classic case of lack of opportunity. They have not been given the opportunity for healing, or perhaps self worth or love. That opportunity has slipped by them.
I could go on and on. You can see in society evidence of Generational lack of opportunity. Generations that aren’t made aware of what is there right in front of them, a mask over their eyes. If you don’t know what you are missing out on how can you change it?
Inspiration opens the mind to Opportunity, it is the pair of scissors that help snip away the mask covering the eyes so the path can actually be seen.
Opportunity can provide hope and when nourished and kept in good soil, grows and is capable of producing astounding fruit. It’s the combination of factors just like the sun, soil and water that multiplies positivity and growth.
For example you may hear about a person who at a critical point in their lives will have something “come up” or happen, it might be the tiniest stepping stone, non obvious and unexpected, but it is an opportunity. What if that little stone that is lifted is hiding an Alibaba’s cave of treasure? They lift that stone and with each little step another small piece is unravelled and another door opens, the path clears and becomes smoother. When you start paying attention to the “opportunities” around you life can be a big intriguing puzzle and much more interesting.
Now there’s the flip side and when I try and think of an example there are so many to choose from…Let’s look at the psychological and biological makeup of Teenage Boys, whoa there’s a whole book there. The adolescent male is like a walking Twilight novel, at a certain time in his development he will want to imprint, meaning; he will look to another male in his world as a role model and start to manoeuvre and develop his future self upon that person or persons. No kidding, Google it, there’s books and books on it. Now if Dad is awesome, attentive and inspiring, awesome; big tick in that box. But we know the facts; and that isn’t always the case. So maybe this kid is involved with a super responsible and inspiring sporting club, they have great role models in an uncle, grandfather or family friend then chances are his imprinting will be successful and healthy for him. However without that Opportunity for a positive role model, he will select another subconsciously. Opportunity #2 ANYONE HE CAN FIND that fills that need. He is going to go for the nearest group of males he can find guidance and acceptance regardless of healthy or destructive outcomes, which can have devastating consequences and aren’t always ideal. There are a great many psychologists that attribute street gangs and gang warfare to this exact conditioning. I am sure you can see other painful examples in the media at the moment.
This really can be interpreted as our responsibility as a tribe, as a community to make sure that young men in our community have the opportunity to have access to excellent role models during their adult initiation. Sounds tribal but that’s really what it is. In our western culture I’m not sure we have really mastered that role as well or recognised the intrinsic necessity of it to protect and raise healthy strong and balanced young men. I am only using this as an example.
Another snapshot: Person loses job, loses perspective, feels intense pain, really hurting, sitting at a bar, someone offers them cocaine to help take away the pain, give them a ‘boost’ of the powdery kind. An Opportunity to Escape….you decide. Life is really a ‘Choose your own Adventure’ isn’t it? With both deadly and amazing realism. Do you take the little red pill or the blue pill Neo? This is where Sliding Doors are in full active mode!
Again, another passage is now opened; opportunities for the community and individuals or organisations. Providing good opportunities for those that wouldn’t otherwise have them. Example; I know of a top notch private school whom send their financially privileged students to third world countries to volunteer. They rough it, and whist in everyday life they may own Jimmy Choo or Sass and Bide the school gives them the important opportunity to learn servitude. Serving others to help and assist. Invaluable and precious.
I heard recently of an amazing lady who travelled to a third world country and took battery operated sewing machines, taught an entire village how to sew to help self sufficiency and provide a new income stream for those villagers. Pure servitude on a genius scale I think! Mrs.R I think you are awesome.
There’s even a church in Melbourne that pays for and enables their youth congregation to travel to starving communities to help build orphanages and dig water wells, and then they come back and brainstorm how to better serve these communities. Inspiring huh? Or the retirees in Geelong that knit scarves, beanies and blankets for homeless folks, an Opportunity for Warmth.
Look a bit closer to home and see Good Teachers; teachers wanting to help inspire students. I know a lady who teaches Disadvantaged peeps to find work and gain skills in the workplace. Nurses that volunteer their time doing shifts to “hold” drug-addicted newborns for invaluable skin contact, so crucial to the development of a baby, an opportunity these little ones might not have.
Providing opportunities; opening those passageways and hidden ports for those that wouldn’t otherwise know about them is vital nourishment for life. Also making sure that we are awake enough from our slumber to recognise them and grasp the right ones comes into the formula too. You need to be able to feel if it’s a bunny in the basket or a Taipan when you are wearing a mask and have your arm in pit deep.
If you are anything like me you may find that humans can be confusing, life can be tricky and at times a bit overwhelming. So we keep our heads down, our bums up, stick to what you know, the friends you have and all the things that need doing when you are a parent, a worker bee, a part of the world. But I pose the question- what Opportunities are we missing out on by wearing “the mask”. Opening the mind just a fraction, the door by a crack, taking your head from being down and just turning it for a sideways glance what might happen?
Whether we like it or not as long as the human body can reproduce we are a species and a tribe, we are in it together warts and all and its up to every one of us to make sure the Good opportunities exist and are available if not for the wonder of it but for the necessity of an harmonious life. And it’s nice to know what words mean too…maybe? At 88 years of age my Nanna was asked if she wanted a feeding tube. For a vast array of personal reasons this goes against everything she holds dear. She was given a small window of time and an opportunity. She took it. Weeks later she is inspiring health workers, staff and doctors with her tenacity, her smile and determination. She didn’t give up. Its catchy stuff this “Inspiration” and it doesn’t give a hoot about Age, Gender, Creed or Race.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments below or share if you want.
Blessings to you and yours, Kirsten.
This is a very short blog this week, why is it that I am being lazy? I have 2 whole blogs ready to go but events have unraveled this week that make my posting them seem inappropriate somehow. You see my beloved Nellie Florence otherwise known as our Nanna has been unwell for the last few weeks. On Monday she was ready to go back home and was in the right place at the right time whilst still in care as she suffered a stroke. I have been by her side right through until last night, I had to return to the nest to make some arrangements and organizing and I will return to her shortly.
I don’t have many words this week, they are evading me like wicked and naughty elves. I keep going to speak and nothing wants to come out except an exhale.
If you have read my earlier blogs you will know that this lady is a monumental influence in my life. Not just mine, MANY lives. She is a special one that has not gone through life quietly, she has impacted in ways too countless to mention. She has cared for my emotional and spiritual needs since I was born, an angel that entered at precisely the right time. Intense psychological studying and examining taught me a few years back that when a child suffers intense abuse; they start to cope and rearrange their cognitive behaviors in desperate coping strategies that are often destructive and self abusive and can lead to a lifetime of harm and horror. This didn’t happen to me. I have had psychologists look at me and shake their heads; how? How have I not ended up in the complete and utter proverbial shite? It seriously has defied the odds completely. I will tell you how, I know how. I’ve looked, turned it around, examined it, pulled it apart and put it together again. The women in my life taught me very well. My Nanna and my Mother. My mother taught me resilience and independence, not to ever be a victim and to be mighty and I do my best when I have it in me…(still the slow student in many ways lol) My Nanna taught me spirit, joy, love and forgiveness but most of all she taught me compassion and gifted me with a Faith more brilliant than diamonds. I am alive because of this. Trust me. This is why I am still here. I could write a book about her. She has saved many many lives from destruction. Did you know that for years she visited single mother’s in prison to be a listening ear and friend? She would visit the blind home to read to those who could not, she pissed people off with her passion for God and she could bible bash with the best of them, but she did it with the intention of sharing her joy, she wanted everyone to have the sparkle in their hearts that she does. I could go on…really I could.
I don’t have much more to say, tears are literally pouring down my face as I write this. It hurts my heart deeply. She makes the best Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches, she loves me like I am perfect, she looks at me like I am heavenly and lovable and I’ve never lived on this planet without her. To put it bluntly I don’t know how to. They told me she’s dying now but you know what? She knows ALL my secrets and never judged. She knows exactly what to say and when to say it. Which means that D word doesn’t fit one little bit. I am selfishly human right now. Completely. So, can you pray for her and our family this week? She is 88 years old, and I would like her story to keep going until she is 98, she is sprightly and she is with it. She has refused a feeding tube, it goes against everything she has said about “getting old” we have all known this for some time. This morning she changed her mind, she chose life. As we speak she is getting a feeding tube put in. Why? Because she is a fighter, with gusto and spirit and amazing grace. She fills my world with love and joy and I want her to stay here with us a bit longer. She has the rest of eternity to go to places other than this, but just for now I want her to stay if she’s willing. I want her to stay in our meadow for just a bit…
Blessings to you and yours, Kirsten.
Sometimes it feels like a zillion people try to call at once, need you at once or require something, it may be a little person or a grown one.
Sometimes its the growing list of things that have to be done, a list that grows like Pinocchio’s nose, leaving you feeling stretched and pulled and eventually as flat as a damp squib, depleted and run down. Surrendering a busy schedule and lists for a wiser plan is rarely easy and trying to find the time to even work out what can be given up to make room for one’s self becomes a battle of wills and often self sacrifice. Folk all over the world put their needs after other’s or place list objectives above their intrinsic needs, not to do this often attracts a feeling of selfishness or indulgence.
Quite often the fact that it is INTRINSIC and NECESSARY is completely missed.
But sometimes its not having a massage or a day spa, yoga retreat and 2 hours meditation a day lol that you need (so not knocking these, id give my two front teeth and left knuckle for something like that at the moment ) Its just creating a moment of total abandon and escape from the rat race infused monkey brain.
A few days ago I got up before everyone else, it was the early hours of the morning when the blue is just lighting up.
I had a late night before and a crazy week that left me feeling hurried, harried and stretched. My mind wouldn’t stop, chattering away, listing all the stuff I had to do, conversations I needed to have, school shoes I needed to buy, booklist items still needing picking up, the kitchen sink I need to polish with a cloth and spit (kidding). I stretched out on my Yoga mat, berating myself for thinking too much and I saw a tiny piece of fluff in the sky above me, like a dandelion or “Santa Claus” as we grew up calling them. I watched it. I admired it, and decided to not move anything until I saw it float away and I couldn’t see it anymore.
Such a simple act induced a feeling of small wonder, almost childlike which I’ve not felt for a very long time.
All my grown up thoughts drifted to the back like a naughty child. I took a really deep breath and kept watching. I think it took maybe 10 minutes for it to fade into the blue sky completely. It did not feel like a complete waste of my time. It felt good. Soul food. I took a big deep breath and felt calm, peace, still and it felt like chocolate. Real good.
I then started pondering (no…really?) about all this overthinking business (the sweet irony) and the “crazy”, if you don’t control it, it can really sneakily grow like a foul yeast. A little bit is good, its fodder for motivation, fuel for action. But too much without escape or peace throws the balance out and the yeast grows so silently and quickly and you got yourself a candida infection bad enough to make bits drop off spontaneously. Ew.
Last year I experienced a business boom. After 9 years of really hard work and love; my business started to take off in new directions and ways I only dreamed of. Because of my previous 2 years of brain surgery recovery, re-learning, rehab etc I thought I had the balance-lesson thing pretty much down pat. Lessons learned, acing all games. I got this. But I had a couple of people around me that were growing concerned.
Beloveds who were observing the steady increase that was being masqueraded with all the joy and happy of this growth and I was going to hard.
I didn’t think I was. When I was approached and we spoke about working too hard, I nodded and smiled and fully felt that I was okay. I was fine, make hay while the sun shines, I am not tired, I feel happy, therefore I am good. Point is I was too busy to really listen and notice what was actually going on.
It has taken me 6 weeks of complete annoying forced bed rest and then getting “back into it” the last few weeks to physically feel and hear my body and mind responding, like an alarm clock warning. A beautifully designed alarm clock, we all have one. It knows how to warn me, it does a great job. I just forget to keep the clock oiled and I forgot its sound. I forgot to listen.
I have again been humbled, made to stop. Lesson learned. I love it how we can get ahead of ourselves and think we’ve learned what we need to know, then shabang we get smacked in the forehead with another one and we feel like infants again.
My alarm clock’s sound is remembered again. Firmly. I liken it to a computer. If your computer’s email is down, incoming messages aren’t happening what do you do? Do you rip the power supply out of the wall and walk away, forgetting you have a computer? No, you try and work out what’s wrong with it, you stop and ask yourself “I wonder what is going on with my computer?” mixed in with some choice profanities perhaps.
Likewise you get a headache, pop some panadol and get on with it, like the advertisements tell us every day, we don’t have time to stop! Pop a pill and get going! Which is like pulling the chord out of the computer without thinking about it. I am not saying don’t take Panadol lol, its been my personal best friend for the last few months, I probably own shares in the company by now. But what I am saying if you listen to your body, it has an alarm. Just an example; if you have a headache, STOP. Ask-
Have I had enough water to drink?
Is it time to switch off the computer?
Am I feeling stressed? Is my body showing me signs in aches and pains that it is distressed?
How can I reduce this?
What can I do to feel better? Do I need more sleep? How can I achieve this?
The need for people in the Western world to push on is rewarded all the time. Quick! Stop the symptoms! What do you mean there’s a fire in the cupboard? Well quickly shut the door so we can’t see the smoke, it will go away. Are you sick? GET WELL Quickly, because if you aren’t better then my world feels uncomfortable and I don’t like that feeling- uncomfortable, its makes everything icky and awkward. I pose the question- if we treat the symptoms and not the cause in all aspects of our life, are we robbing ourselves of growth and process? Do we do the “quickly” thing in our lives so other people feel more comfortable?
Stop just for a minute, take some nice deep slow breaths, sip some water and listen to your body.
Your body is the boss and employee, if you ignore it, don’t repair it or care for it it can and will either give you the sack or go on strike eventually. I have found balance, but its been by force not by choice. Sometimes it takes surrender, courage and step in faith and trust in ourselves to find a place of stillness and peace. Our body is designed with sensory messages communicating to us when something is up, physically and intuitively, instincts are gold.
Plus unhurried hands and minds make the best meals from scratch, tell the best bedtime stories, give longer kisses and and probably make better candles. Skills are sharpened and harnessed differently. Its true. Cross my heart, Hope to live.
Again I hear Nellie Florence’s advice to me as a child echoing back;
“There is a time to eat, a time to play, a time to work, a time to sleep and a time to pray”
I hope you have a wonderful week, I hope you find a piece of fluff to watch or a moment to yourself.
I tried again to do this yesterday, waiting for a piece of fluff to appear. This came crashing down pretty quick when a Banshee wail from the bathroom screamed we were out of shampoo. But once in the week is a good start don’t you reckon?
Wednesday the 14th January 2015. Is peace possible?
I was a very fortunate little girl. The best lessons I learned to set me up for the rest of my life’s uphill climb and down mountain slides were given to me before I turned 7. I had an amazing teacher. Her name is Nellie Florence McEncroe. Otherwise known as my Nan. A constant in my life; she got the lucky chore of looking after me when my Mum was at work, helping in my Grandfather’s family business. The first part of my childhood was spent on the Gold Coast in Queensland. I have some very fond memories. On the piano with Nan, learning Twinkle Twinkle Little star, picking Frangipanis, going to the bakery to buy Neenish Tarts (still a fave), learning how to make our Favourite sandwiches (still both our faves)- Peanut Butter and Honey (YES- together- diviiiiine, which is why I just used a capital F for favourite) and avoiding her Cat at all costs. Yup her cat.
She had a cat called Mischief, and that cat got its namesake doing just that- creating mischief. The strongest memory is me about age 4 on the piano with Nan beside me and looking down to see this Black and White furry dictator giving me the stare down with jealous rage. He would walk past and curl his tail languorously around Nan’s leg shooting me with what I swear was a look of contemptuous arrogance. He would stick his claws in my leg the moment her back was turned, the feline version of Hannibal Lector. Even my pa called that cat by its real name when Nan wasn’t around- Shithead. I wasn’t one for bad words as a little kid, but that pretty much summed up the cat. Cats really can be nasty cant they? I am so sorry cat lovers; I do like Garfield but that little sucker freaked me out. Anyway, again in my pondering I am rambling about a cat. Ive strayed off topic again…I going to blame that on the brain surgery- I am regressing.
When I was small and Nanna looked after me during the day I was taught by example that the practice of Having Faith was a way of life. Not a concept, not an ideology but a working force in my life. I saw it, I experienced it on a weekly basis at an age where learning is vibrant and contagious, a little sponge I soaked up what was on offer. We would ask the Angels for a car space and we would get one EVERY TIME in the busiest of Surfer’s Paradise and Burleigh Heads streets.
Man do you know how cool that was? We had our very own invisible superman as a friend, which when you are little tyke is pretty freaking cool.
We would visit Nan’s friends who talked about faith and God in the most natural peaceful way like he was an old family friend. I was shown how to pray a child’s prayer- sweet and soothing. I never questioned it, it was a gentle and loving concept that I never doubted. I wasn’t brainwashed, I was around someone with a love of God and faith and all things light and it rubbed off. I asked loads of questions and was given solid answers. I was taught to love, to forgive, to treat others the way I would like to be treated, not to envy or be unkind. So I have never NOT known what faith is. From what I understand now as an adult this is a very rare thing. It is the most useful gift anyone had ever given me and I will grateful to my Nanna for all my life. She gave me a box of tools that would come in handy for the rest of my days.
I called on that faith many times as a child and it always made me feel better. I find in life you can try and solve your problems up to your neck in sticky brain muddled dark shite, anxious, freaked out, antsy and on your knees bowing to fear when things go awry, unable to make a clear concise decision, not even trusting the decisions you are making from a clouded standing position.
You can achieve a lighter surer feeling that then helps a clear focussed mind make a decision, or have an ability to have a more optimal coping strategy, a calm, a peace, EASE, clarity. I know which one I choose and the proof is in the pudding as a wise lady once told me. There is no argument against personal experience and this is mine. We are all different I guess? Some people say beliefs are for non copers, I am not sure on that. Desperate people turn to desperate measures etc etc. Many of the people I draw inspiration from that often appear bullet proof and resilient as Titanium are walking in grace. I call it my insurance policy, I am not hurting anyone and it makes our family all feel nice. End of story.
Can you remember as a kid when Grown Ups got angry it could be very scary? When you are very small and a big person gets mad it can be quite freaky and even damaging. As a child you are taught to respect your elders and grown ups are meant to do the right thing. We are conditioned in the Western world to accept this as fact from the time we have to rely on a big person for sustenance and bum changes. This notion of authority and protection of little people isn’t always correct, and when this happens it defies a child’s sense of understanding, confusion ensues. I have mentioned to you before when I was a child my amazing Mother survived extreme domestic violence as did I. There were nights I would crush myself deep down to the very bottom of my bed under the blankets trying to block out the sound of an Angry man, wanting to be a little Joan of Arc and put myself between him and her, but shamefully knowing I was too small. Hearing my beautiful Mother, full of love and life be harmed… there are no words.
There was nothing I could do. I was powerless. So I prayed. I prayed to feel better.
There was no pleading or begging, just a request. I would always end up feeling cocooned, a calm would come over me and I would drift off to sleep. Every single time. To this day I cannot explain it, but I learned to trust it. Think of a time in your life when you were very frightened and you dealt with the fear. What was happening? How did you deal with the fear? Did it work? See for me, contemplation, peaceful calm prayer and meditation is what works in those situations. Now I know there are people out there that will read this and say what about the person who..where was God when…. Let me be very very clear. I do not represent anyone but me. This has been my experience. I cannot speak from any other perspective. I was taught that there was a divine architect, we had free will to make our decisions and God was a God of Love, to be of assistance through faith and prayer, treat each other with kindness and love. Love is all. When teenage years hit I found “religion” to be a bit full on and not very cool, I started to see things about Church that didn’t fit in with my view of love and the world and I walked away a bit from God because of my rebellious nature to reject everything I didnt understand and an inherent issue with authority figures! I thought Nan’s crew had some weird ideas that I didn’t really want to “adhere” to.
But what I found was that by rejecting everything altogether didn’t really work that well for me.
The world was a bit messy and dark for a while. I didn’t like the view with the new lenses I was wearing. The world felt draining and lacking. It dawned on me that I didn’t have to walk away from my beliefs or God at all. My beliefs and experiences were what moulded me. It is also good to question and think for yourself, study, ask etc. Dogma isn’t the all and end all, neither are rules. They are there to be upturned, pondered, examined and looked upon. I learned a valuable lesson in faith and the moment I returned to a position of calm and prayerfulness my life was calmer, more peaceful.
What I find intriguing now after my few humble years of stumbling academic study of world Religion and Anthropology is how the original core teachings of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, The Hopis, Zunis of Pueblo cultures, Parsis, The Sikh, just to name a FEW are based on these very concepts of harmonious living or commandments for peaceful living. I had a clue this might be the case before I studied but i have been seriously blown away by the mirroring doctrine, scripture, books, literature that span over thousands of years and at times in completely different parts of the world that had no communication with each other reported to have divine interactions and guidance that verge on coincidence. (That is if you believe in co-incidence) I could seriously write a thesis on it, there are literally hundreds of examples. Same Same! Why do I find this intriguing? Because the nature of Human beings to use mass ideology as a means of power brokerage screws it up for so many. It takes an idea for living peacefully and with grace to some weird rule book made up by Homosapiens and enforced with pain, punishment and separateness. In the same breadth so many of these belief systems have guided, educated and helped humanity, the very concept of donating and helping those in need stems from organisations of belief. Some of the strongest and most helpful communities are found wrapped in a blanket of Church or Temple, the fabric for morale perhaps?
If you go back and study the origins, the fundamental basis of scripture from all of these belief systems and their very conception mirrors each other.
Then people walk away from the concept of religion or dogma of all types altogether because its become a mouthpiece for power, extremism and hurt which has happened over centuries and centuries. From an Anthropological point of view all “Religions” have had human beings in charge that have made a right old mess of things in the name of God. Some Church organisations, even Buddhists, you name it! I think it is so very sad. Sometimes I wonder if God sits back and shakes his/her head in bewilderment, maybe over thousands of years he sends prophets to explain to us how we are meant to live in harmony and unity to give us a heads up, a helping hand, a bit of a guide in different forms and maybe we listen for a bit then it all goes a bit to the left, we turn it into a Dogmatic super circus with rules and regulations, leaving the big G up there going “Oh man! There they go AGAIN? What the?” Its not a theory peeps just a pondering. I hope I haven’t completely freaked you out, will you come back and walk with me in the meadow or have you already run off the dewy grassy screaming OMG SHE’S LOST IT! Its ok, some of my best friend’s are atheists and we get along really well. It gets interesting over a few bottles of wine and polite debating…LOL. Tuesdays with Morrie eat your heart out.
I can tell you though if you haven’t already experienced it, you love your children more than yourself. I do.
My daughter was told she had a pineal cyst that at first they thought was a tumour. A perceived serious threat to your child is like the feeling of that “I’ve lost them in the supermarket” combined with taking the meatiest most tender part of your heart and breath and shredding through a blunt mincer multiplied my mass horror. Graphic I know, but paralysing and efficient. The problem with fear is that is keeps you in slavery, you can face a situation where it feels like there is no hope. A dear friend of mine gave me a prayer to shoo away that intense enemy of fear and it worked enough for us to keep moving and get our faith on.
I am beyond pleased and grateful, smiling today. This daughter of mine went through a day of tests and poking, prodding to a dubious wait in a room, the same area that has given us so many moments of awful news. She turns to me and says “I am going to be fine, its ok and we are surrounded with good” That thing in her head is benign. It has NO growth and is well and truly stable. I went in when she was asleep in bed last night, I watched her sleep for about 20 minutes. The mincer turned into a waterfall of butterflies in my chest.
“Hope is like a kite with a long tail of sturdy string hat even the most downcast of us can manage to grab onto. No matter how bleak our lives may appear to be, no matter how flat on our backs our troubles have pushed us, we can still reach up and take the kite’s string of hope in our hand and it will carry us aloft into a new and brighter day. ” (This too Shall Pass, Eaton, J. pil, 2012)
“Each Affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.” – Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
“Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe.”- Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith.
If you think you know someone who would like to read my blog, please don’t hesitate to share it. Blessings xx #PonderingsofPeace