Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Because I can

We have this neighbour. She is a healthy, active, compassionate, giving,  middle-aged chick with a great sense of humour who cares a lot about pets and people - probably in that order. (And she'd probably like me saying that.)

I found out a few days ago that she is in a hospital in Melbourne. She came off her bike while riding through our beautiful forest - a place I would usually see her walk to or from every other day. A head injury. A coma. And now in the land of recovery and rehabilitation which has no certainties.

I was on my way to walk Harvey through that same forest when I got the news from another lovely neighbour. Shocked. Devastated. How could this have happened to her? The remark that such a thing could happen to one who was so healthy...

Health has nothing to do with the rock you hit along the path.

My first instinct was, can I visit? Shortly followed by what can I cook for her partner? She's not up for visitors and her partner is with her for an unknown period down in Melbourne. Well what else can I do????

Every time I had this thought I went into 'worry' about her and a sense of helplessness would wash over me. And if what they say is true - that thought is energy and energy is everywhere - then I am not helping her one bit by thinking worrying thoughts.

So I did what Kiki taught me. Each time I drive or walk past her house I picture her smiling and happy and feel love for her in my heart. I imagine her well and healthy and cracking some joke.

But I want to do more! Wandering home from a walk on Sunday, facing her house, I asked what would A.M. want me to do...

The answer - not waste a moment. How dare I let this day pass by unnoticed, on auto-pilot, while wanting the next day to hurry up and come.

I can't anymore. And I don't want to. And each time I slip back into self-pity whether it be about my gut aching or having to do housework or groceries that I don't feel like doing, A.M. springs to mind and I wake up again and remember, No! no more feeling victimised...you get to choose.

So from now on, as often as possible, I'm choosing to live the moments with the life I was given.

And no, this doesn't mean I'm about to make a bucket-list and start ticking things off it. It means living - engaging with what's unfolding and appreciating what I'm doing, no matter how menial or mundane. And taking delight in the pleasure of the sun's warmth and the carpet under my feet. Because I can. Because I'm not in a hospital bed unable to feed myself or remember how I got there.

This one's for you A.M. ...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What to see

It's been a rough morning. I won't bore you with the details, but it was one of those mornings when nothing seemed to go right.

After doing an hour of writing for my Uni work I decided to take a break. I took my cup of tea and part two of breakfast to my desk. Not my computer desk, where I'd spent the past hour, but my writing desk - the place where I relax and explore - what's out the window as well as what's on my mind.

I have lots of  books and cards on my desk and felt drawn to a set of wellbeing cards. I shuffled them as I sipped and nibbled until one card fell out. Must be what I need to know I mused.

I laughed. Out loud.
It was exactly what I needed to know.

Boy, did I ever.
I turned the card over to read the card's deeper meaning.

It was the last part of the message that helped me change my view : ..."it is my dominant intention to see that which I am wanting to see."
When I read this I realised that my intention was to see the morning as bad, awful, wrong. I even used the words nothing seemed to go right at the beginning of this post. But was that really true? Had everything gone wrong? Everything? Or was I just seeing it that way?
When I looked back, plenty had gone right. In fact, most of the morning's rituals occurred with little fuss - it was me who was flustered - I had let myself get caught up in the minor difficulties which distracted me from the dominant intention - feeling good and seeing the good.
We all do it - it's easy to fall prey to what's not working and then stay stuck in that perspective. But this card reminds us that we get to choose - we can reclaim our power by changing our focus and seeing what it is we want to see.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What wants to be written

I have been in a bit of a bubble of late. The last five days have had me immersed in the Bendigo Writers Festival. As a student of the Writers in Action subject offered through LaTrobe University, I was required to attend the festival and pretty much learn as much as I could. And then write!

I have many writings ready to put on the page for my folio, but they'll have to wait - it's been over a week since I've written for Seeker & Sage and I feel called to write this post first.

But with so many thoughts and inspirations to pursue from the festival, I have been wondering what to write about.

The words of the beautiful, talented and wise author, Sue Woolfe are ringing in my ears.  At a private workshop on Sunday morning titled Unlocking Creativity she said,
"I want you to find your heart."

Goose bumps. My mind went immediately to Seeker & Sage.
I am I thought... I am trying to find my heart. Every post I write comes from my heart. This to me was very affirming - I felt like I was on the right track.

But she hadn't finished.

"I want you to take risks... I want you to be really brave.
I want you to try and find the thing that you almost dare not say.
Once you find what that is you will never be able to stop writing."

The room was silent. And very still. She had hit us with it - the big cohuna. And it hit me hard.

I had been honest, yes. Followed my intuition and trusted it to deliver - and it had. But there were many uncanny moments and profound learnings that I felt I couldn't write about. My ego, always wanting to serve and protect, judged them as being 'too big'. Whenever I had the urge and the instinct to write those things that I almost dare not say, fear got the better of me.

Sometimes I have touched on them and hit 'publish' with a rapid heart beat and held breath. But after listening to Sue Woolfe I realised I have witheld a lot. I have been brave to a point, but I know I've been sharing what's within my comfort zone.

So 28 posts on, the bubble has burst. It's time to be really brave and try and find the thing that I almost dare not say... and say it!

It's time to write what wants to be written.

Monday, 4 August 2014

What matters most

This morning was an interesting one.

I have recently restarted my morning yoga practice. I went to the mat, reluctantly, even though I know that doing yoga relaxes me and I feel better for doing it.

Why I wondered, did I not want to practice? I noticed my agitated mind grow more and more fidgety as the minutes ticked by. Frustrated with myself for feeling so irritated, I couldn't wait to be finished!

Getting busy with the morning's usual rituals like cooking toast and cutting fruit would surely help... but it didn't. I wanted to scream. Standing in the middle of the kitchen amid the chaos and the crumbs I could see that my mind was behaving like a broken record - over and over the same problem played itself out. 

I was stuck - in a past I couldn't change.

Feelings of guilt and shame fuelled my inner judge  - Why didn't you...? You could've... You should've... What were you thinking...?

I tried to be mindful - to break the cycle of these destructive thoughts. I zoned in on the Vegemite, it's smell, texture, colour...  but my mind was too strong.

In desperation I turned my face to the ceiling and asked for help. I am not a religious person, but spiritual, yes. Please... give me some perspective I pleaded.

Lunches made and dishes done I went to get my mobile phone - I wanted to text my husband who was in Melbourne for a work trip. I turned on the phone and as I was texting him a text came through from my sister. I wasn't expecting her message, nor was I expecting her news and the reaction it would invoke.

The disappointments and tragedies she talked of were the reason she had been so busy. But they had also served as timely reminders - they had helped her gain some perspective on her own worries. And this in turn changed mine. The tears stung when I  realised  I  had been so caught up in details - petty crimes. Little things. Small stuff.

And in that instant, I got the perspective I needed - the perspective I had asked for. The tiny  mistakes and minor wrongs that I wanted to punish myself over, dissolved. I let them go, forgave myself and decided to focus on the bigger picture - who I am.

Cos I am not my feelings. Or my behaviours.

I am love. We all are.

And it really is what matters most.