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.

Conscious Intake

IMG-9895Well this is a funny one and it seems to follow on almost directly from my last post…..Conscious Consumption. Some times I feel like I don’t break things down well or enough. My blogging process is simply a matter of what I want to write about today. Then I find that what I have to write about can be broken down into so many other tiny pieces, and each of these deserves it’s own platform. That is what has happened here with Conscious Intake. Maybe you think I’m talking about Conscious Eating or maybe some kind of school screening programme. I’m literally writing about intake what it is that we intake into out bodies. So why not say eating? Well cause that is not exactly what I mean. So now I have to go on to explain it a bit more. What I say might be controversial and so maybe by writing this I might let you off the hook.

I smoke. Though I do not define myself as a smoker….Usually I smoke when I’m really angry and it’s actually the best way I know to calm down. (I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, did I tell you that) Anyways after I’ve EFT’d the fuck out of myself or considered breaking something, screamed into a pillow or maybe just whacked a the couch with it. Well if all that hasn’t worked I smoke half a cigarette and then almost immediately brush my teeth and wash my hands…..oh yes that is me. The good news is that you know what it’s not a big deal. Because in that moment it’s the best possible chance I have of feeling better. That will prevent me from ruminating over an idea, situation or thought for hours. I have a cigarette change my state and then let it go. Sometimes I even smoke socially and I really enjoy it. How you feel is the key to wellness.

The reason that I write this is because there are endless lists of shoulds and should nots. Healthy and unhealthy. Only you know what is right for you. About 6 months ago I went to see a nutritionist because I was suffering from really bad indigestion and it turns out I am one of those weird people who is actually more naturally alkaline. Which means I have to make my body more acid to be able to digest my food well rather than the other ways round. Who would have thunk it? Drinking coffee, wine and even eating sugar (all in moderation) are actually good for me. As result of including these things in my diet my digestion and general well being has improved dramatically. Of course we do have to make the effort to find out what works for you.

Yes for the most part I do my best to get good quality locally sourced produce. I even collect mountain spring water regularly and use that as my standard drinking water. What I’m saying is if once a month I eat a chocolate bar on something equally suspicious; a can of coke to go with my burger and fries. Then consider yourself blessed that you can afford it, make sure you enjoy and be grateful for the experience. Creating contrast can make that experience all the more special too. Variety is the spice of life.

Conscious Consumption

C20706AA-F500-48CE-9A7B-BFF17D255365This week something very exciting happened. I found milk in a glass jar in my local supermarket. It was a little strange it was in a jar, it didn’t deter from the fact that the producer of the milk had made a conscious choice that they wanted to use a glass container as the receptacle for their product. I was excited. I have longed for the days of the old fashioned milk bottle since I started reducing my plastic consumption, milk has been a challenge. So when I find a product that meets my needs it enlivens me. As it frees up so much more time for my own personal brand of world healing.

As we attempt to satisfy 7 billion people, many of us grasp that drastic change is necessary. As we jump from one side of the boat to another trying to create balance we often find that we create further instability. Watching people plunge overboard in an attempt to save themselves, I have grown very self assure of my own approach. Softly softly catch the monkey. After all I come from a place with one of the worst diets in the world where even a few green vegetable might be considered radical.

I’m a flexitarian thank you very much. That means I retain the right to eat what I want when I want, if it’s appropriate.  My own inner work includes doing my best to stay happy and keeping my alignment stable, while doing my best for other earthlings and the planet.  My primary focus in my consumption is healing humans. I believe that if as humans we can heal ourselves, we are in the best position to create rich sustaining lives, that allow us to extend our joy to the people and communities around us. In turn we will then  find way of enhancing the environments that surround us, finding natural ways of enriching our lives here on planet Earth.

For this reason I do my best to shop locally, using the nearby health food store, local shops or local markets. My preference is to use outlets that I can walk or cycle too. This also does a great deal to reduce my carbon footprint. It also helps immensely in building a sense of community and exploring local geographies.

I want to invest my energy into the people around me that are creating good things. I believe that by doing this I also enhance local inter-personal connectivity helping to create resilient communities, supporting economic stability and enhancing my own geographical area.

I want to be able to connect with the people that live round me and indulge in the contributions they make. I believe that building connections is the best way that way have as humans of getting back to our original design. We were intended to live connected relationship based lives. Using our food consumption as a base for creating those connections is one of the best ways we have of connecting with our local environment.

 

 

Clearing Space

IMG-9833There is nothing quit like cleaning your house to help get your mind in order “Tidy house tidy mind”. This week I’ve been totally deep cleaning. Pulling out the couch. Getting under the bed. Dusting the picture rails. Just getting fully committed to my dharma. That in order to start fresh each morning we need to have a clean slate to start from.That resetting the clock for what you want from life can start on a 24 hour countdown each day. How very liberating, exhausting and terrifying all that once. That everyday, exactly where you are you have everything you need. All we have to do is get down to the exact science of living. That the what if’s and the what only’s could be actioned in every moment. To live your life fully.

It’s easy to let things stagnate, plonk a whole load of things on the to do list without every really getting round to doing them. Stuff can hold us back. Whether it is things in our head, the endless to do lists or just getting round to doing our dishes.

Even the random things that have crept into the seams of the couch, whether it is a business card or a penny, can absorb our energy as we mull these objects over. Seriously if it doesn’t bring you the ecstatic joy of discovering a lots pound coin. Then get rid of it. Quick smart and pronto.  So much mental space can literally be taken up with stuff.

That is exactly what clearing space does. It allows us to live most fully in our present moments. Our richest day in the one we are living right now. Where everything is in order. Yes it’s a lot to aspire to everything in order and in it’s place. Committing to the work, likes it’s groundhog day. Diligently setting aside that which no longer serves us day after day and setting the intention for the next. Inviting in the lovely stuff, that bunch of flowers some incense or your favourite tea. Clarity is sure to bring abundance. After all you can’t take it all with you and we do have all we need to thrive in this world. Creating a space that brings instant joy for the moments we have is clearing space on the deepest level.

We can free ourselves of the emotional baggage and the burdens of limitation in any moment. We only have to change our minds and choose something else. Having a deep clean and a de-cluttering can be as effective way as any of getting clarity in you life and figuring out all those priorities. It can certainly make you feel better to lie out on an open space, free from distractions. It make room creativity and master planning of the best kind. Yes clear space so that abundance can flow.

The Balance of Power

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Here in South Africa it’s women’s month and it’s a big month. We love our women. I was listening to radio and I heard an incredible statistics that 68% of adult South African women were single. First of all I have no idea, what the world average on this, the figure just seemed incredibly high. Then I thought about it. Then I thought it a little bit longer and it occurred to me in South Africa as a woman (at least in my social circle) it’s unusual to be married.

So I’ve been having all those girly conversation about relationships and men. How we pair up, what makes a match and how relationships work? What I have just realised is that there is some deep societal programming going on out there, that makes me wonder about things a bit. So often on Womens Day and when we talk about women we talk about being strong. I grew up in a matriarchal society and to be honest I’ve only every really known female leaders. I’ve only ever known women that rule the roost, hold council, pull together in community and support one another. The good men were more like the awesome sidekicks, who made sure that the women in their lives were fully supported in there Earth life mission.

The men hold space for women to retreat to. Maybe they provide for the family. Maybe they simply take care of their wife cause after all “The best thing a man can do for his children is love their mother.” Yes that is true. After all isn’t it women that bare, birth and breast feed and raise children? Do you think that responsibilty was given to women because they are the weaker of the two sexes, seriously? We are all deeply programmed to believe that men are supposed to be strong for women. It’s a pile of shit. They are our hunter gathers and protectors. Women hold the fort.

So it makes me wonder if that this strong man ideology is just another piece of the puzzle of toxic masculinity. That women are out there searching for unicorns, for mythical creatures. When in fact when I look at successful marriages it’s the women  with the sensitive men that are doing the best. The men that care when women are upset. The men that carry you to bed when you are exhausted. The men that pour you a bath when you need to regenerate. The men that sit down and listen when you are overwhelmed. The men that cook dinner, wash the dishes and hoover. That’s the men that we are looking for. The men that know that looking after and protecting their women is at the very heart of creating a stable home and the positive ripple effect that brings.

 

#Mood

5AB40A8A-F6B6-4C11-AC7A-CFEBF3A74ED3#Mood wasn’t this so 2015 or something like that? Where did that go? #Mood. I loved it. All these emotionally literate hipsters trying to visually capture the idea of a late afternoon sugar rush.  Yes that’s a thing, especially if your begrudgingly British like me. I recent weeks for reasons yet to be disclosed I’ve been hanging out with an Art Director friend of mine and we’ve been talking a lot about aesthetics. Me being a trained curator and her being, well, an art director that’s hardly unusual. What has been coming to me though recently on my pathway to Zen Goddess that aesthetics are important. You’d think a four year degree in Art History might have taught you that? That’s why no one should go to left-of-center art schools I suppose (winky face).

The study of The History of Modern Art and Design taught me something else entirely that revolves around the word arbitrary. As I soon discovered much of what we think is meaningless, subjective and well pointless and the only value that anything actually has is the value you give it. Quite liberating actually. If you want to find out more you might want to read up on the power of cult. Modernist Theory is so closely related to creative means of production; that if studied indepthly, it’s hard not to become nihilistic about art, life and well everything. You see how easy it is to spiral down? Thus explaining post-modernism.

Great works of art, whether it be painting, sculpture, architecture, all forms of design or indeed explorations of visual culture (lets say Instagram) have to power to uplift, motivate, inspire and in fact connect us to the divine. One walking tour of Paris confirms that. We all want to be moved, comforted,  reassured our at the very least served by the environments that we occupy.

It is also possible to deliberately evoke feeling with aesthetics, as you would with music. Que the cheesy background music over almost every motivational infomercial these days. It’s kind of boring. These perfectly curated and complied content. Show me the mess. I do like to get high on little bit of rainbow. I’ve even have a Pinterest board about it Colour Me Happy.

Given my theoretical basis for understanding aesthetics and on related issues of beauty and the fact that we live in a construct. I am firmly of the opinion that we create our own inner realities.  Spiritual development is largely related to non-attachment. That the material world is nothing but a distraction from the metaphysical quest of wholeness. Except of course we are all whole already. The thing is, this curious idea of mood, that can be summed up in dusty old railway stations, a Christmas trees or even the colour of a painted wall and how it detracts and refracts the light as is dances round the room, morning to evening, winter to summer. As celestial being affected by matter and intrinsically connected to material a world it’s hard to not let our visual reality impact our inner reality. Isn’t that after all why we have embodied ourselves in the first place. Whoa this seems to pretty advanced stuff on here today.

Consistently Inconsistent

IMG-9492(1)“Consistently Inconsistent” My father said this to me once as an insult. it’s a terrible shame that it wasn’t actually true. Yet beyond this it has become a kind of mantra for me. Everybody has the right to change there mind, find another way, all in the hope of becoming who we actually are. In recent months I’ve picked up the pace a bit on my wee coaching business and as always adjusting course as I move forward and figuring out what it all really means anyway while attempting to be the truest and best version of myself all at the same time. Which means from time to time my standards slip life gets in the way and I have to consider How best am I serving my clients. If you are looking for a guru I’m not it. I’m as human and broken as the best of us and sometimes I’m envious of Mandela and hid imposed daily routine. Can you imagine enforced spiritual awakening by way of prison regime. That no matter how hard it is. How you might be feeling or even how important you are you have to get out there and get down to the lowly work of breaking rocks. If that isn’t dharma in action I don’t know what is.

In the meantime I’m caught between, I’m busy feeling. How much can I journal about this? Do I journal before I do the dishes? Do I do the dishes before I journal or the other way round. Which one is going to make me feel better faster? Then all the justifications that go with it. Never mind that I actually can’t do the dishes because I can’t find the ecologically friendly dish washing liquid I usually use in my local supermarket, that means I have to drive into town, which kind of defeats the purpose of eco dish washing liquid. Yes it’s the small things. How do you write inspirational posts when you can’t manage the basic and well you’re very busy feeling? The thing is we all have the right to be consistently inconsistent. We are humans. As much as we are drastically trying to reclaim our lives from the endless monotony of daily work for a corporate company we also need to reclaim our lives from the constructed demands of time. No one here is pulling in a harvest no one is going to dye if you Instagram feed is not up to date and should I really be Instagramming while spending quality time with friends. Personal work is for me the new work work. Prioritising me as a radical step in self-care. That doesn’t mean never commit it just means do you best and been happy with the results. Also please bare in mind here absolutely no-one has criticised me for inconsistency or praised me for my eco washing up liquid. This is all self-imposed limitations and critiques. The mind can be crazy even when it is well trained.

Inner Guidance

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Sometimes I wonder what our inner guidance system would operate like if it was a GPS system and what kind of warnings it might give out when you were steering onto the wrong course. Would it say things “stop immediately”? Or would it say “A better decision can be found to your left” or even “reconsider current trajectory” or in the most desperate of cases “abort mission” I suspect if you’ve gone this far there isn’t much hope of finding a safe and effective exit route.

I often override what my inner guidance and then I wonder did I really? Hindsight is a wonderful thing and even when we have live clues it can often be hard to decipher what the next best step is. We’ve all be there, I’m sure, in that situation where someone says or does something that lets us know that we are not on the same path, have the same shared values. There are no mistakes and no matter where we are heading you better be sure that your GPS system is working overtime to get you there. When we ignore what we believe were tell tale signs of trouble ahead isn’t it just our own way of saying life is an adventure.

In the last few decades the rise in adventure sports of even excursions have been supposedly been the best way to get out of a comfort zones as we all try escape desk jobs and boring routines. The things is even with the life jackets and the bungee cords there is never any guarantee that we really will be safe, that we will get home safe and dry after a harmless flirtation with exhilaration.

When we override our inner guidance system it’s just our spiritual way of saying “I’ve got this”, come what may. That actually we have a belief in ourselves beyond what is explicable or even sane. After all what sane person would actually through themselves off a structure with noting but a rope tied to their ankles? As a kiwi friend once said to me “New Zealand the nation that invented bungee jumping. A nation in some serious need of entertainment”.

Recently when I am thinking about my own personal growth journey the book “The Four Agreements” has been coming up for me a lot. I find it very reassuring to look at them and use them as a tick list to see how well I have served my self in the process of life.

  • Be impeccable with your word.
  • Don’t take anything personally.
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

If I read these four agreements and I know that I have applied to the best of my ability. Then my inner guidance system is totally in tact. No matter the outcome.

 

 

Prioritising Self and Fluidity

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Negotiating the emotional landscape has got to be one of the most complex things that we humans have to do. If we were all robots getting on with our to do lists just think how boring that would be. Work schedules, family schedules and daily routines can be the glue that hold our lives together and then from time to time, the computer says no. Our conscious tells us other otherwise. Things don’t make sense and well life happens. We have to figure out how to navigate it. All of a sudden we are on unfamiliar territory and well as my old pirate self might say, “There be Rocks!!!” Even when we know where we are going there can be all sorts of hidden obstacles and emotional battles to overcome in order to make sure that we are ready for the task, journey or event ahead.

In the meantime if you are indeed engaged fully on your own personal journey you may well feel or in fact know, that this is all for a reason. That you are here to learn for yourself.  To share your journey, so that other way finders may just steer clear of the rocks.

We complicate the idea of getting ahead with helping others. That if we are caring, kind compassionate humans we priortise other people. Is that absolutely true?

It makes me think of a Gardener who spends his life planting flowers so that everybody can enjoy their blooms. For the advanced Gardner it’s about planting trees that will never reach their full magnificence in a human life time. So we wonder who is he planting them for? Only for the simple satisfaction that he has imagined something beautiful.

That we can’t possibly  support another person while moving at an incredibly slow pace, it might even be mistaken for being stationary. It’s bit of a double edged sword, personal work. We want to support and love others to heal themselves, while being continuously called to heal our own wounds in the act of serving. It’s and incredible balancing act actually.

It has taken me a long time to fully understand what it is to prioritise myself. In fact it’s kind of startling to me when I ever do some deep soul examination of how little I give myself and why. It also troubles me what spiritual observations that many of us take on the path to wellness. Chastity, obedience and poverty being three main ones. It makes you wonder what is left for joy, happiness and growth.

In today’s world where even in our own personal journey consistency is considered to be key. It can be challenging to think of new more relaxed ways to embrace personal growth, that don’t revolve round people pleasing, gym membership or a punishing daily regime that is guaranteed to push all the money juice out of you.

Then we return again to the Gardner where the seasons and the weather dictate their routine. They plan on rainy days. Plant and harvest on sunny days. Wait out the frost. Every day and changing season brings with it a new challenge of how and when they will get the job done and yet they always do.