Take Care Of Yourself First

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This is Delphine clearly an Oracle looking badass while mothering hard. When the tough get going the tough drink tea.

Every so often my mind develops little mantras. This one “Take Care of Yourself First” came to me a few weeks ago while I was literally about to wet myself while trying to turn on the laptop to save time. Fucking ridiculous right? Right? Do you do this? I do this kind of stuff all the time and it drives me more then a little crazy too. Like many people I think that I am a multitasking god. Which I absolutely can be at times. Then you have moments like the one above where you mindfully facepalm yourself and decide going to the toilet is more important than productivity or in fact essential to productivity. I mean seriously. It’s the small things right?

Sometime in a my mid-twenties I remembered becoming so acutely aware of running on autopilot about many small tasks, only because I started to have “accidents” or lets say oversights. Not necessarily wetting myself more the inside out pants situation; cause you didn’t actually check. For want of falling into a stereo type things like leaving the hand break on and that kind of stuff. Then you remember I’m not God. I just need to be firmly assured in the fact if I’m not paying attention I’m likely to make mistakes. As are you. We are all human after all. That’s a humbling realisation for many of us. The great news is we can save ourselves deep levels of embarrassment and humiliation. If we pay attention to the small stuff, notate the it’s daily mastery is a minor lesser noted miracle and achieving beyond this is well worthy of note, recognition and possible some kind of award scheme.

A mate of mine Sonia Mather (a womanly demigod and my one of my personal gurus) often refers to this strategy as Oxygen Living. The principle behind this is that you have to put your oxygen mask first before helping anybody else. Being a mother she learned early on that as one of the main co-collaborators in her family life. She was personally responsible for holding that the family together (groundbreaking I know). Caught in the exhaustive and endless quandary of taking care of two young children;  she realised if she wasn’t taking care of herself who else would? Her two young children couldn’t do it and nor could her husband as if like here he wasn’t battling his own challenges, he two was wrestling with two small children. Other than taking turns at alone time there really weren’t any other option than to put personal care at the top of the list. Which is incredibly challenging with two small kids. Cause guess what you can’t leave them alone and personal control is a human skill that many adults have yet too mastered (me included). Mothering is a masterclass in personal survival (that’s why Mothers are amazing).  This also reminds me of my own mother defiantly drinking a cup of tea at the end of a long day at work before delving into our stuff. Or the many mother that have barricaded themselves into a bathroom for a long awaited bath with the music turned up. So there you have it. Taking care of yourself first is essential for the survival of future generations and the human race and thus very very important.

I Am Celebrated

4EDBF04E-2251-4EC4-BDD2-1A023FF077CDOctober was my birthday month. As another sun cycle has hit me it became clear that it was time to celebrate. I have made it to the humble age of 38.  Life is getting better and better and I know it. The past week has felt lit up by my achievements and personal power. I wonder what life has got in store for me next it’s got to be something exciting. After all I am excited to be here, now. The must be something up? This Birthday has been another great opportunity for growth. Where I break further and further away from the idea of a permission based existence. That I need to stand up, take what I want from the counter and give back what I can in return. Imagine if at Birthday time we didn’t mop about waiting to be acknowledged or loved and that we just celebrated the life and love that we have. Celebrating is a step beyond gratitude. It’s like a love explosion.

For years I waited for someone to notice or for someone to love me just they way I might want them to. It’s an impossible task to hand to someone. Who else could know or celebrate me better than I can. It’s only very recently that I began to figure out that my Birthday Celebrations were being dictated to by a bunch of people who actually didn’t like me very much. Can you imagine that. Who wanted me to be someone else. Aspirationally demure filled with elegance and discernment. Ha ha ha ha I now sit back and laugh at all those unhappy birthdays that had nothing to do with me and realise exactly why I didn’t enjoy them. They weren’t for me they were for everyone else. What everyone else thought I should be doing. Getting taken out for dinner, etc etc etc.

So do yourself a favour, take time to celebrate you just as you are. Invite the people you actually like a long for the ride. The maybe just maybe a Happy Birthday will turn up for you.

Life Expectations

IMG-0172Yup this is the big stuff right here. Maybe Leonard Cohen summed in up best with Bird On A wire Expectations, if you can crack this well, there is reason to believe you can crack anything. Seriously. Expectations? Seriously most of us are born into this particular segment of our lives well and truly fucked. First of all people are always asking you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Second of all we are all systematically bombarded by parents, media, the educations system with what the fuck we should be doing. Even Ted Talks ask almost every particpant to conform to “their” format of speaking. I mean fuck them. Really? Seriously? You want ideas to change the world yet we must all conform to your style standards. Right o then. I think fucking not. Can you sense my outrage. So here it is expectations. Born, Job, Buy a Car, Marry, Buy a House, Parent, Grandparent, Leave a Legacy, Die. And could you do all of that as gracefully as possible without upsetting anybody. No I don’t think so? Can you? No. Is this totally fucking unrealistic? Yes. What an excellent reason to free your mind.

Human Life expectations seem to present as some form of cultural dogma. That’s true. It’s fucking wild that our most basic of humans choices seemed to be being dictated to by some kind of cultural hive mind. That straying from the accepted norms may well fuck the system. God know that declining birth rates in the western world are freaking people out. We’re back to the feudal system here guys. Less people, less power (in case you haven’t figured that out, lets not talk about China. Look away now). The fact that any one of us does not manage to reach these “bench marks” is by no means a reflection on us. Most of us have no idea what we are doing here in this earthling experieince. Much less what we are doing here in the right now and seem to be completely boggled by the idea that there is already a pre-determined system that we should be slotting into before we’ve even figured out what our hands are for. Yes seriously people have decided that you will graduate university before you have even figured out how to use your hands.

Expectations for ourselves obviously have to become completely muddled and muddied as a result of the information that we are given. Now we have Facebook and Instagram I can only imagine how confused most youngsters are by there level of aspiration. Have you heard? They just closed The Beach permanently, our hedonistic quest for light relief in paradise is fucked also. So expectations? Really what do you expect? Is it realistic? And are you starting this quest with your self. I’ll give you an example? I expect people to be honest with me……..am I honest? Yes to the best of my knowledge. I expect to have beautiful things……..can I define beauty? Sometimes……Yup get right into your head and ask the big questions…….

The Ride of Your Life

IMG-0031Is it really all snakes and ladders? Is it a roller coaster ride? Or is it the hamster wheel of hell? I suppose that all depends on where you are on your journey. It also depends on what are the best choices for you. We all have patterns and any one of us has the right to make there own decisions. Anyone of us has the right to decide what is the best feeling for you. What I can tell you based entirely on my own experience is that we create our own reality. That your current reality might seem like the best choice that you can make at any given time. I absolutely believe you. At any given time you have the access to the best decision possible for you. The thing is that you are perfect just as you are. That the place where you are is exactly where you need to be right now. You can also choose to go somewhere else. Of course this might not be the case if you are experiencing some form of modern slavery. Yes that’s a real thing. Do you feel better now?

You see we can all allow ourselves to be drop kicked into next week. Any girl with PMT (and her unsuspecting partner) can tell you that our physiology, never mind environment or human connections have the ability to fuck you over. Throw you off the playful merry-go-round that we thought we were in charge of spinning for ourselves and leave us bruised, broken and temporarily scarred for a few weeks. If this happens to you then of course we will feel the searing pain of being thrown to the floor, literally hitting rock bottom. Then we can stay there and allow ourselves to bleed to death while picking at scabs at on our elbows. Crying for everyone else around us to help us. Then wonder why they don’t or in fact why they shout at us to get up, causing us even more distress. The thing is that we have the solution, other people can see it and we can’t. That’s fucking scary, I know. That we might not be able to see the obvious. Even more terrifying is that we might not able to feel the obvious. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to feel better. Fuck you for not helping me. Can you see the challenge. Few people want to have to tolerate another person’s pain. You know why? It’s painful. The truth is is all anybody really wants is love. All anybody really needs to heal is love and you can access that at anytime. All you have to do is think of something nice. Maybe it’s sunshine or rainbows or your favourite Death Metal Punk Band. Yes life experiences and your reaction to them (which you can’t necessarily control) can kick the shit out of you but if you can find something to reach for that makes you feel better. You are going to find it easier and easier to feel good.

The Healing Journey

IMG-0027Where might I begin with this one? That fact of the matter is the healing journey begins with the idea that you might be in search of something better. As simple as that sounds, it can be an incredibly challenging idea for anybody going through an existential crisis. After all many of us have fallen away from the soft doughy comfort that religion has to offer us, of eternal life, or redemption. All we can attempt to cling to is the here and now.

That life is both painful and pointless. That we all die that everyone of us will die. Buildings, communities and empires will decay and crumble. Collapse and decay are the only true values that persist in our material world. These concepts are something that many of us have succumbed to over the process of our human lives, not least when we seem to have be battered by the fates and we realise that despite our best efforts that we are not entirely in the driving seat of our own lives. That life happens. It’s ok to get lost here. In fact it’s ok to live here. You can even preach this doctrine should you be inclined, because it is of course a truth and unrelenting and brutal truth.

On the other hand we live, we breath and it is fair to say that only a sage few would claim to know or understand the meaning of life in it’s entirety. Even less of us might actually believe them. I personally have no idea what the meaning of life is and at my best might only be able to grasp at what it might mean for me. Your meaning and values might lead you to a different, explanation or conclusion entirely. What I do know, for me at least is that with death and destruction there is beauty, deep meaning, fragility and an idea of preciousness. That everything and anything can hold value if only for a spit second and the way that we know this is based on the way we, or, specifically I feel.  I have the power to choose something’s value. I also have the power to change how I feel and I also have the ability to understand things completely differently. If I am able to understand that which any particular moment might give to me. That the gift might not be material and that throughout my life I have always managed to adapt and grow. That pain can be the greatest gift of all. That what we can tolerate, becomes what we can endure and what we can endure becomes our source of strength. If pains become our strength then the fickle nature of life is only here to fortify us. So in the end every trial becomes a game, every test a quiz. We learn that approaching life with a sense of play does far more for our sense of well being than and idea of a predetermined game plan. That just like snakes and ladders winning a losing can be fun.

Personal Transformation

IMG-9972I personally have been undergoing a rather profound transformation. In the most extreme circumstances. It will all come out in the wash, I’m sure. For now though its a privilege to hear my story and I am not ready to go public yet. Watch this space. What has been truly incredible as a result is taking time to get back to myself. What does that mean? It means sometimes due to work, circumstances or relationships we can actually lose sight of ourselves. The world gets under our skin and we become human doings rather then the beautiful human beings that we are. We lose our sense of joy, our emotional well being and thus our sense of purpose. This can be the result of our environment, the mistaken idea of what we are meant to do, or even be, in certain situations. Then everything changes and there is space for something entirely new.

I love listening to the radio. I far prefer it to the T.V and even social media. I love reading long rambling articles and even music. Somehow I forgot all that and instead for the last few years I have been reaching for the remote control or Youtube hit to just feel instantly good. What I was actually doing I was numbing. So that I could silently ignore my own feelings. Replacing them with somebody else’s. Mistaking other people trials and tribulations for my own. Taking on the motivational music as my response rather than a synthisised reaction from highly curated content.

So I’ve changed and then I realise that actually I haven’t. I have rediscovered something. That depending on where I am at, my vibration and alignment changes. That I like being outdoors. I like the radio because I can wash the dishes, or make the bed while I’m listening to it. It enhances my day instead of stealing it. Radio doesn’t dictate my mood, it engages my mind. Fascinating huh. It’s not just radio though. It’s spoken word media, podcasts, sound clouds or event the best invention ever voice notes. I love getting personalised radio broadcasts from my friends. To get to hear their uninterrupted trains of thought, their feelings and the way that we are totally free to express ourselves when we feel fully loved and supported. So that’s where I’ve been living for a while now. Feeling fully loved and supported. So all of a sudden I have been uncovering a relearning parts of myself that had been forgotten and I’m finding more and more of the life that I write about. A life filled with connection, love, abundance, ritual and peace. All amazing things right?

The Way We Hear

IMG-9924Clutter can be distracting. Often when we listen to people or engage with people who are experiencing pain we don’t make enough space in our own psyches to hear a person. Not only that when we do hear them we come at them with quick fixes our own solutions or even opinions of what might be the next best move. All of the above is more like providing a brain storming session for someone who literally doesn’t know how they feel, never mind what they want. Here we are supposedly helpful individuals bombarding someone with an idea whether it is welcome or not. This strategy can be very well meaning. However it doesn’t address the challenge at hand and at worse can deny the emotions of the very person you are trying to help. The way we listen to people and even to ourselves can often be very damaging.

Often it can be very hard to understand exactly what someone is saying. We all have such nuanced and complex emotional landscapes we mistake what we might feel for what someone else feels. When in fact they are very different. That two people can go through exactly the same experience, hold different perspective of exactly what happened and extract totally different meanings or interpretations of what it meant for them. There is so much to learn. There is almost no doubt that other humans are our greatest teachers. Yet we still superimpose our own beliefs and ideas on the person in front of us. Doing this undermines our own learning process and ability to grow. Well all have so many stories and experiences. Out lives the family environments that we grow up in are all totally unique and can never be replicated. If we treated each human as an artistic masterpiece, our lives would be so enriched. We would dive into one another with total abandon and we would never seek to “improve”, alter or change any part of the other. We would be engrossed in the process of learning all we can in that very moment. Time is short our moments together are precious.

So if we took the time to view the people in our lives in such ways. How would we change ourselves to accommodate this idea? How would we alter our interactions? The way we hear or understand another human. Would we be able to truly leave judgement at the door and open ourselves up the the power of each moment? Casting away our thoughts, the mental clutter and our predetermined ideas of acceptance. It’s a powerful idea that has delighted me this morning.

Nail Health

IMG-9135Yes exactly. I really am talking about Nail Health. Totally off topic I know but sometime Personal Work can not help but manifest in the physical. In the last year I have made significant in roads into changing my diet. as you may have picked up from previous posts I consider myself to be a flexitarian. Yes one of those that eats what I want when I want and feels quite proud of it. Now I am about to open the door to one of the lesser enlightened corridors of my life and I do hope that you are able to maintain some kind of perspective on the information that I am about to tell you.

Up until a year ago I ate meat and lots and lots of it. In fact in almost every meal. Just to be clear this is not my normal dietary design. It was something that had hit me as something of a lifestyle reality, rather than a lifestyle choice. Diet was increasingly hard to manage in a culture where being a vegetarian was consider a blight on society, than a progressive and healthy lifestyle choice. Unless of course you were just doing it to stay thin. Then that was of course perfectly reasonable and accepted. If your doing it simply to look good…… (vanity must have fallen of the list of the seven deadly sins). Anyways….. To consciously eat less meat was kind of like living a cultural purgatory (Can you tell I was raised catholic?) Where though shalt be judged for making your own choices.  Now I do try my best to not make sweeping statement about any culture or place. However let me clearly state that in some places the impacts of propaganda are clear and strong and free thought is not automatically welcomed. In fact, in some places facts can be aggressively denied by people that believe themselves to be both rational, reasonable and even intelligent. (I’m not talking about Trump (definitely Trump vibes though) Anyways I ended up eating a lot of meat in order to be culturally accepted and for a happier home life. Yes boo hoo, no back bone, none at all. Then from nowhere I was just like fuck this I  literally can not eat not one more beef sausage, not one (that wasn’t entirely true I meant for that day and extended period of time following).

As I work diligently towards having a happier, healthier, flexitarian diet. The big thing is, along with increased energy levels and the will to face another meal the biggest difference I’ve noticed is my nails. When I was eating meat they were like dull rough claws covered by ridges and dents. I knew that the over consumption of meat had been the cause. It made me wonder about all the hormones I was eating, very little of the meat was organically or locally sourced, yuck!!!! Anyways now I have dramatically reduced my meat intake I’m happy to say that after a year my nails are looking a lot better. So yes Nail Health a big indicator of how your diet is….

Autumn & Spring Equinox

IMG-9780The first day of autumn and the beginning of spring all rolled into one. When you are a Global Nomad Gypsy Pilgrim, it’s hard to know which hemisphere to honour, which season to mourn or celebrate and where you belong in your life. The digital age is going to flood me with all those images of autumnal leaves, winter boots, the start of new academic choices or even the recurring new intake of freshmen from some of my teachers and lecturer friends. Here in the global south, and especially in Cape Town, I’m looking forward to all those beach shots, bikini bodies and of course we’ve already started with the whales. They’re here and have been for a while ; along with the west coast flowers; and in Pretoria they’ll be waiting for the rain and the electric thunder that infuses it, to put together one of the most dramatic shows on Earth. The year is beginning and ending all at the same time. Some of you will have achieved massive dreams (I know I have), others will be starting out on new ones; and others will still be left with the listless feeling of what am I doing with my life. It’s a question that has plagued me for years and now it seems finally I am arriving. My ticket has been bought and all this personal development has paid off;   finally, I’m following my spirit, not my wound. For me, this year has come with a lot of highs and lows and some big realisations. The ones that shatter worlds and  help you figure out what my dreams, where is my spirit guiding me.  And I write this now as a Scottish woman who really knows that it’s September, that summer ends with a winter wonderworld of hibernation. Rumination and slumber awaits in a world of dreaming. Now more than ever I found the 15-year-old girl in my life who has been waiting for so long to find out what she is going to do with her life, to figure out that she’s actually kind of done it. That you can get paid for lighting incense, washing crystals in the moonlight and pulling tarot cards for nebulous reasons; and in your off time you can sing to the whales, run in flower filled sea meadows, climb mountains and live the dream you dreamed of. It’s all so very fabulous.

Life changes as the seasons change. There is always time to find something you’ve lost, prioritise your dreams, or in the simplest of cases change your mind. Trees shed leaves, and re-grow limbs;  and flowers can stay dormant for years and bloom for one day. There is so much we can learn from the ever-changing and adaptable nature of nature and its seasons.

Spirit v.s Wound

IMG-9790Did you know that Facebook posts can actually be deeply inspirational and thought-provoking? A few weeks ago I saw a post that read “Are you guided by your spirit or by your wound?” Big fucking question right? And it might take you quite a bit of discernment to figure that bad boy out. This has been a question that has plagued me for years, especially when you feel like you’ve been rocking the wounded healer archetype for a while. Getting jiggy with Chiron can be as complex and messy as astrophysics for
toddlers. Somehow though I think toddlers are better a grasping the bigger concepts. So here I am, figuring that out, and I wonder how my own discussion about it might best serve you…….

We all have pain — emotional pain, physical pain, psychological pain and maybe even spiritual pain. If you’re feeling particularly advanced, you might even hit me with your psychic pain. Wait there a minute! there is more; there may even be collective pain, generational pain, ancestral pain…oh! and even national pain. That is a shit-ton of pain to distinguish between. It’s hard to know what is ours and what is somebody else’s. In fact, it’s a whole story that can probably be reserved for another blog post.

The thing is, no matter what kind of pain you are feeling and how it manifests, it has amazing and incredible ways of guiding us. So for example, if you have been raped, you may opt to work for a rape crisis charity, or with other men or women that have experienced the same. Yet, before the rape occurred it hadn’t really been a topic of interest to you. Following your wound becomes your way of both healing and giving back to society. Which is, of course, very admirable.

If you are led by your spirit, there are things that have always brought you joy, that have always made you happy, made your step a little bit lighter, your laugh a little bit louder and, well, your smile a lot brighter. When you are in crisis it can be hard to think about the things that bring you joy. Just getting down to the deep work of bringing joy back into your own life for yourself is all you can do to lighten somebody else’s burden. You just bring joy by being joyful. How incredible! Yes, you can choose this way to heal too.

Anyways, just so you know, vibrationally, it’s always better to follow joy, and maybe peace for a little while too. Yes, be guided by your spirit and know that your gifts are not your wounds but the things that bring you joy in the face of them. Be yourself and shine to thrive.