Tuesday, 5 May 2015

We've moved!

Hi all!

Just a friendly reminder that Seeker & Sage has a new home:


 If you click on the link below it will take you straight there.

And remember to subscribe using the Follow via email box on the right side of the Home Page if you want my posts to be delivered to your inbox.

I look forward to your visits, Gena xx

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

We are one!

This is quite a significant post for me - not only is it my 50th, a milestone I am proud to have reached, it is also Seeker & Sage's birthday!

I love birthdays, and not just for the cake and presents! They give us the chance to acknowledge where we are on our journey. We can pause, look back and see how far we've come, look around and appreciate all that we have created, and look forward to our hopes and dreams being realised.

One year ago today, on the 21st of April 2014, after months of deliberation and uncertainty I took the leap and wrote my first post for this blog. And I've never been the same since.

I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. 

Seeker & Sage has shown me how much I love to write, how much I yearn to create and how much I want to share. And the learnings... sigh - it's been huge! Week after week the seeker would do what she does best - search for answers and understanding as a way of dealing with life's difficulties, always looking for the lesson so that I could grow in some way.

And I have grown. But it's more about expansion than progress. As I sit here this morning, pondering this, my 50th post, I know that that's what matters most. Yes, there's been a lot of lessons on letting go this past year, but I think the biggest lesson by far, the one that undoes a lifetime of striving for perfection, is that growth is about expansion - it's about becoming more of who we are.

Speaking of, I have been working on a new blog site, one that reflects this expansion and the growth that will continue as life unfolds.  So not only is this my first birthday, it's my last post at this address! I am very excited to announce that from today, we live at seekerandsage.com

I hope you find this new home an enjoyable place to dwell. My weekly post-writing will continue (sorry for the gap between these last posts. I've been busy focusing on the new site - thanks Step and the team at Green Graphics - I love it! ) but you will also find quotes and books and information about Note to Self, the card set I published in 2009. It's early days, but my aim is for the blog space to evolve as I do.

And remember, if you want an email to deliver the posts as I publish them, then please submit your details to the Follow Via Email box on the right-hand-side of the blog. 

It's been an absolute pleasure sharing with you so far. I think what keeps me going is that we are one - beyond our unique circumstances and personalities we share the experience of being human. 
And every time I sit down to write a post I am reminded that we are all in this together. 

And that makes all the difference.

Thank you all for your patience, support and encouragement - and for just being there. With love, G.

PS   To go to my new home for Seeker & Sage
                       just click here!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The writing's on the dirt

I can't believe what just happened.

So I'm writing about it as soon as is possible.

I've had a symptom flare up. It's been gradual - it started Monday morning and hit it's peak this afternoon. It is felt physically as an ongoing abdominal discomfort, so its quite contained but its affect on the rest of me is far-reaching - other bodily systems and functions are altered and then my emotional and mental state follow suit.

I have been here many times over the past eight years.

At one point it was daily for months, which turned into years. The good news is, I have improved - this symptomatic situation has become less and less frequent, but it still strikes too often and when it does the whole of my world looks dim; helplessness settles in as we have not yet found a way to relieve it, nor prevent it from happening in the first place.

So this afternoon I found myself in familiar territory - frustrated and despairing over not being able to decipher the trigger, my hope of a different future disappearing after very recently being quite optimistic about the positive changes that were occurring.

Not knowing what else to do, I decided to pray for help. While chopping the veggies for tea I pleaded with the Heavens above to show me what I needed to do or what I needed to know to get better. I then got on with my evening - cook dinner, hang washing, taxi a child, walk the dog.

I didn't really have the energy to walk, but I knew I needed the fresh air and the forest.

At a much slower than usual pace Harvey and I set off through the bush. My mood had hit its typical low, my mind wondering what, when, why, how? One minute Harvey was trotting along quite happily beside me, the next an abrupt stop and he was just behind me - pausing for one of his many wees no doubt. I nearly didn't turn back to look as he makes regular stops throughout our walks, but this stop went on for longer than normal.  I twisted around to check on him, and there it was.

I still can't really believe it, yet I know from experience that the universe works in wonderful and mysterious ways. This is what I saw...exactly as I saw it. And I didn't pass anyone, nor did anyone I know know I was walking through the bush at 7:04pm tonight.

I stood dumbstruck for a few long seconds. Then I cried. And then the laughter came.

I had just asked you-know-who for help and I reckon this was my answer.

Write. From the heart. Write. Love writing. Love sharing. Write. Write till you think there are no words left to write and then write some more. Write the pain away. Write the sadness away. Write it all down - anything and everything that might help - the blog, the private journals, the thesis, write it all!

I mean seriously, what are the chances?

If Harvey hadn't stopped there to wee I would've missed it. And you know what, I've been witness to this kind of uncanny synchronistic stuff too many times to be any kind of skeptic. So I have taken that leaf and pen perfectly positioned in the dirt as gospel.

As I sit here happily tapping away, I know I don't need to wonder anymore about my telos (see yesterday's post). I don't know what the words will bring, nor what words will come. I don't know when or how or even if my symptoms will clear as a result. I just know I have to write, from my heart, as much and as often as I can and be open to the healing it might bring.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The search continues

This week's post arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon.

I'd been wanting to write for Seeker & Sage for days but the topic was yet to appear, and now I know why.

This book is one of many that I ordered last week to help me with my Masters Thesis. Actually, it was another book by this author I was chasing but when I Googled psychologist James Hillman and saw his repertoire of inspiring books lined up across the screen, the Seeker in me couldn't help but want to read and own a book titled, The Souls's Code: In search of Character and Calling.

When you buy books on-line you can never be sure when they're going to show up, nor which will come first. So yesterday's delivery was a delightful surprise.

I couldn't wait to delve into it but kids and projects and errands and dog grooming and dinner left me no chance to do what I so desperately wanted to do - curl up on the couch and start soaking in the words from this number one New York Times Bestseller. Ha...I'd never even heard of it till last week, and now I was in love with it before I even turned page one!

Incidentally when I get a new book in the mail the first thing I do is check to see if the seller has 'randomly' placed a receipt or bookmark among the pages. If so, I take it as a sign. I open the book to the designated marking and see what it has in store for me. Usually it is something that sends me into goosebumps - something I need to know.

But not this time. Not this book. So I took matters into my own hands. I held the book and thumbed the furry outer edge of the pages slowly and delicately, just moving them enough until they started parting and then it became obvious to me where to open to.

The first word I saw was the chapter title in the top right hand corner of the right hand page...Fate.

Goosebumps. I read down the page until I found the message meant for me that day:

"The pull of purpose comes with force; you may feel full of purpose. But just what it is and how to get there remains undetermined. The telos [aim or fulfilment] may even be double or triple and confused about whether to sing or dance, write or paint. Purpose does not usually appear as a clearly framed goal, but more likely as a troubling, unclear urge coupled with a sense of indubitable importance."

That's how I've been feeling in a nutshell - about writing, about this blog, about Uni, about my thesis, about what I'm doing on the planet and point of it all.

I have moments where I feel full of purpose, but I don't know what I'm aiming for. So I try and name it but I am at once lost for words. But Hillman has today helped clarify the unclarifiable - that troubling ache and urge that strikes to write this blog, that thesis, both of which I debate the importance of yet which I feel the pull of purpose with and sense of importance that I cannot doubt or deny.

I am drawn to spirit too - the world that exists within and behind this world, and the mystery of the soul and what we can do to connect with and integrate its abundant guidance and wisdom. To work with that realm is another ache I feel, hence a sense of confusion as Hillman points out from a double telos as to which one to pursue.

But just like this book coming into my life somewhat unexpectedly, we don't always know what's next. Nor do we always understand the relationship and meaning between seemingly unrelated instances as they occur - but if we're open to seeing the connections and believe in a greater purpose at work then we can let go and trust that all is unfolding in our highest and best interest . Maybe it's time the Seeker was a little more patient and trusting that all will be revealed at the 'right' time. And when the urge strikes to go to the desk and write, write!

One last thing - I want to thank you, dear readers and family and friends, for supporting me as try and find my telos, my aim, my purpose, that I feel is so strongly bound to words and meaning and this thing we call life. It is a privilege to be read by you and my honourable pleasure to share with you that which is in my heart. Love and gratitude, G xx

Monday, 2 March 2015

The wisdom within

This morning I attended day one of a week-long early morning yoga intensive.

At 5.25am the alarm shook me out of my much-needed slumber and I wondered with a heavy head for the hundredth time this past week,
why did I say yes to this?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of yoga, and it's not like anyone is 'making me' do it - I volunteered... with enthusiasm!

You see this particular yoga teacher is someone I love to learn from. Truth be told, it's almost enough for me to be in the same room as him. So it's not like I didn't want to do it - I just wondered at 5.26 when I dragged myself to the loo and at 5.27 when I was reluctantly running the shower and at 5.41 when I was backing down the driveway in denial...
Why say yes to getting up this early five mornings in a row? 
Why do it to yourself?!

It seems I wasn't the only one wondering why.

Not five minutes into the session and we've been asked the same question:
Why are you here? 
What was the impulse that made you want to come here today, 
this morning, and practise yoga? 

I pondered this why some more while sitting on my mat. And again throughout the practice. A number of reasons came to mind but I'm not even sure they matter. Our teacher's point was that we felt some kind of urge that then led to the thinkings that led to all the plans we had put in place to be there. We think the idea to say yes has come from our thoughts, but before that there was a felt sense of yes that came from the body.

Another why has just come to me as I write this post -
why am I even telling you this?

Because a dear friend was talking to me about this very thing over a cup of tea this afternoon <3

And because I think this happens a lot. For many of us.

We've all had that fleeting intuitive hunch that we feel in our gut or that little leap in our heart - the impulse to say yes or no to something. And often we do. But then our mind starts trying to talk us out of it. It claims to know what's best for us, or what's right. Or we feel it, but we don't know if we can trust it.

But as our visiting Yogi pointed out this morning, the body is intelligent. It knows what we need. And if we listen to those signals and urges more often, respecting this innate wisdom we all have within, then maybe we'd be more content, more happy, more peaceful, more healthy, more alive.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Wake-up call

Last night I made a surprise admission. 

There was nothing pre-meditated about it either. 

The words seemed to just find their way out of my mouth.

"I think I've become a bitter and ungrateful person."

My husband's reply:  "You'd better not be! I don't wanna live with someone like that!" 

I could've been offended by his comment but I wasn't - I could hear the humour in his voice and knew this was his way of trying to get me to lighten-up. We've been together long enough for him to know how terribly hard I can be on myself.

My response: " How do you think I feel? I have to live with me all the time! It's alright for you - you get to go to work and be away from me for periods of time. I don't! I'm stuck with me!"

We both laughed. It was funny - but it was also true.
We cannot escape ourselves.

My admission may have been a little harsh, but I've become very aware of the nature of my thinking and there are times when the inner critic just will not let up. 

Where has my compassionate heart gone? I wondered. The me that understands that we are all human and doing the best we can at any given time. That me is kind and knows to look beyond the superficial to the suffering that aches to be seen and heard. 

When I am that me I am much more gentle, grounded, available - to others as well as myself. I feel connected and yet am able to flow more easily with the ever-changing nature of life and the people I inhabit it with. Gratitude comes, and not from the material goodness I have but from the experiences that life provides me with that enable me to love.

This was the me I wanted to be more of. This me was much nicer for me to spend my days with - no need to try and escape from  that me.

I wanted to wallow for a while, in the sorrow and regret that I felt, so I did. But soon after I fell safely into sleep, knowing that today was just a night away and that I had the chance to wake-up and do it different.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Feeling my way

January: the month that wreaks of promise and possibility, of hope and wonder, excitement and delight at what the coming year may bring, is almost over.

And I'm not ready for it to be! I'm not ready for February! 

Because with it comes a creeping in of all that was. The bright new year is well and truly over and what settles in is life as we knew it - nose to the grindstone stuff. Days are marked out by dates and deadlines, routine, structure, to-do lists, in-boxes, productivity, aaaaggghh!! 

Then comes the rut. The spontaneity and life that effortlessly sustained us in January as a result of seeing the world through optimistic eyes is replaced with getting stuff done, as soon as not really humanly possible. Life becomes ho-hum again. Its get down to business time.

But I don't want to!

Actually, let me clarify that. 

I do want to - I do want to get down to business. I do want to get stuff done. I do want some kind of routine to my days. I do want to tick things off my to-do list. I do want to be productive.

But not at the expense of fun, freedom and creativity. Not this year.

No. This year I'm going to do it different. I want to do it different.

This year I'm not just going to focus on what I want to achieve; I'm going to focus on how I want to feel.

This morning when walking Harvey I realised how lacklustre I'd become. The 'new year feelings' I described earlier had worn off and I was left with a sense of apathy. The excitement and interest that was directing my thesis was vanishing and everything was looking grey.

I don't want to feel like this! I thought. Needing a pick-me-up I searched my ipod Audiobook list and stumbled onto exactly what I didn't know I needed to hear.

She talks about chasing goals and how we yearn and hope and wish that we will be fulfilled when we reach them. But, she explains...
"You're not chasing the goal,
you're chasing a feeling you hope reaching the goal
will give you."

She believes this kind of achieving is backwards, and that it's burning us out. I'd like to add that it can lead to feelings of emptiness, confusion and stuck-ness, none of which we want to feel!

So what do we do instead?

Danielle suggests we get clear on how we want to feel in our life - identify what she calls our core desired feelings -  and then we base our intentions on them.

She says, "Not only do we have to put our feelings at the heart of our ambitions, we have to pursue our desires in a way that is life-affirming rather than soul-depleting."

Yes results matter, but what is the driving force behind your goals? Her answer: your core desired feelings. And once we identify them we can use them to make more powerful choices, daily.

Of course, this Desire Map stuff is not new to me - I first heard about her work early last year, and was so impressed I bought the book! But it lived on the shelf ever since. Until today.

I definitely don't want to feel this listless, uninspired, lethargy any more. It's time to get in touch with what I want to feel - what my soul is yearning for, what my heart truly desires and to start living.