Lessons for 2018

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Really are we doing this? It’s kind of a must, to get a little bit of self-reflection into the programme. End cycles are such a crazy time for all of us. By the time we hit December we are already hitting 2019 hard and we are trying our best to get a clear idea of what worked and what didn’t. 2018 has been one of the hardest years that I can remember. I got married the planets went background and what was meant to be a clear trajectory to the finish line of life got all muddled up. Things were not what they were supposed to be and life long dreams coming true can mess with your head more than you can imagine. You don’t hear about this stuff much. That wedded bliss doesn’t last long or that a solution only presents a whole set of new challenges, it’s been a bit brutal. Add into the mix living on another continent from where your from, living in a dual language/culture family and well, these are a mix of challenges that a lot of people never have to deal with. For me I think 2018 has literally been the end of a 10 years cycle of wait and see. Yes 10 years of wait and see. What does that mean? It means if you are not sure what to do. Do nothing, it’s sitting back and letting it unfold knowing that the master plan may not be of your making. 2008 probably heralded my journey into personal healing after having ticked all the boxes and still not having resolved what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be in my life. Since I gave up the idea of an end game I can promise you I have over all been much happier and had a much more fulfilling life.

Saying that in that 10 year cycle I have moved continent, so I’ve done plenty. It might be better to say that life had other plans. Sometime we are dead certain on on thing and then whoops you fall in love with a man half a world away and you find yourself literally on safari. It’s been an incredible blessing.

On the other hand you adapt. You change you grow. You forget parts of yourself simply because they don’t get spoken about much being a #scotabroad experiencing #diaspora and all the complications that might bring. When even the person closest to you only occasionally see your true tartan colours a complex mix all woven together in a peculiar way that only a Scottish person might understand. Then on the other hand, doesn’t, cause after all how many Scots have lived in Cornwall and the South Africa, studied Art History and well married Boer. More people than I might imagine and then of course they aren’t here. All of the above can make for a very strange affair. Where we constantly have to negotiate our beingness to be. So very counter intuitive huh? The main news is I trust myself.

What’s the formula? Love

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First of all even though I preach love, light, compassion and nurturance you’ve got to know that I am human. I’m espousing about the mastery of the potential human condition that I myself have am still working on. I get angry. I’m far more likely to jump to angry than to sadness any day of the week and I have a reputation for resolving conflict somewhat aggressively, even in what should be serene moments of bliss. I kid you not. What has that got to do with love? The fact that I am able to love myself in that process. I don’t reject the feelings. I don’t judge anger bad, I don’t  judge aggression as bad and I also know that we all make mistakes. That although at times I can be a dick, it’s because I am not yet able to permanently tap into endless universal love. Yup that’s me. Imperfect. Fuck it’s wild huh? To find the solution is always love. In 2019 I have finally come back to myself and my way of thinking. Where my own personal mantra is “I trust myself”. Yes little old me. I trust me.

Trust isn’t exactly love though? Is it? No not exactly and yet most people would say that in any relationship that you can’t have love with without trust. So they kind of go hand in glove. The connection of love and trust  is far harder to put a finger on when we think about love and trust when it come to our own interpersonal relationship with ourselves. Through my own journey I am becoming increasingly aware that self-trust is the key to any kind of love. That we have to trust ourselves, our preferences, our feedback, our story in order to experience love. That if it feels right it is right. That something feeling right is only a hop skip and a jump into personal happiness. Happiness is only a 1/2 a centimeter from love. Any kind of love, love of a person, love of a situation, a place or even a thing. If we can create love by trusting ourselves, we can change our world.

Sooooo I trust myself.

This year after many years of trying to figure out how to be a coach I’ve made the decision to go donation based. Sounds crazy right? or does it really? I trained as a Life Coach as I wanted to find great tools in order to be able to assist the people that I talk to on a daily basis. I knew that if I  was able access conversational tools that allowed people to truly feed into their own potential, that there was totally new way of accessing how each of us engaged with the world. For a very long time I have always known that each of us has the ability to create positive change in the world. For some of us it’s a lot easier than others. There are a whole plethora of situations, family experiences and personal circumstances that can seriously impede our ability to thrive as adults in what can be a cruel world. Combine a few short term problems with that physical or mental health concerns and it can create a maelstrom of events that have the ability to rip lives apart. All to often the people who need the most help are totally unable to access any positive support systems. Where a small intervention for a little bit might constructively allow someone to simply make a few better choices.

This anomaly has been something that I have witnessed and experienced over and over again. That entirely capable people end up living hand to mouth as they do daily battle with painful negative self-talk and limiting beliefs. All fueled by spiraling anxiety based on a perspective of lack and scarcity. For people on the outside it can be mind boggling and frustrating to witness what they consider an intelligent person making the same mistakes over an over. So that’s what I’m doing putting and end to this bullshit for free. I’m here to help. All you have to do is turn up.

Imagine

IMG-0839So here it is. I have made it to the end of my personal working year. The end of the working year is a strange idea when you are in the wellness business. My personal work is my business, so although I may be powering towards writing the last few words of this post trying to put into perspective a 12 month cycle for a customer facing debrief, the work is far from over.  In fact it has only just begun. My head is already spinning around a year in review. The big lessons. How to integrate what I’ve learned into next years planning. How to plan differently. Who to partner with and of course much much more…..

What I find incredulous is that I started out this year hoping to write a blog post each week. Which I’ve kept up with far better than I expected.  I have certainly committed to the process. This time last year I was trying to plan blog posts, schedule them in time with the seasons and my own forced ideas of personal progression, only to find out that the spontaneous nature of my creative intuition has been my premier guiding force.

I found that even though I had started a huge amount of posts, that when I sat down to write or complete them that I simply wasn’t inspired enough to get the words out of my head onto the paper. The things I thought were important didn’t some how  live in the forefront of my mind at that moment. I have often misguidedly thought of myself as deeply liberated and if anything this year I have learned the opposite about myself. That I am very much confined by the idea of what people might think of me. Being a bride has amplified that awareness and I hope in the long run to have broken down that limitation for my benefit. This year blog writing for me has been transformative and become about flow, instinct, personal journey and quite frankly not giving a fuck about what anybody else thinks. That I need to write what I need to write when I need to write it. Sometimes that means I’ve been way ahead of the game and other times it means I’ve been way behind it. What has been the greatest thing about blogging here is emotional freedom it has given me to express myself. What had stated out as a brave step in personal exposure has become a gradual liberation of my personal opinion. Which can at times be totally contradictory. Good Luck with that.

2018 It’s been wild. It’s Scottish wild, here that I refer to – that it’s been a totally out of control bordering on misadventure, with most of the planets going backwards it’s hard to imagine that the celestial beings that roam our skies have not played a hand even for the most detached humans. Luckily though it is where the magic happens. For life to be spectacular it has to have some darkness and intrigue to be able to see the fireworks right?

I’m hoping that the Brexit fiasco is last of what encroaches on my personal life after all a shift in statehood is a big moment in anybody’s life. Along with marital status and nationhood. It’s been a big year…..

Now my need to collapse into myself grows. It’s the end of the year. It’s time to reflect, reward and plan for the next. To expand the time scales and begin to manifest again. As you wonder at it all. The big messages, the major fuck ups, the small victories. And in fact new Scottish words to describe it all clusterburach. Just the other week I was saying to a friend of mine that is 2018 had a meme it would be getting slap in the face by a seal with and octopus. Yes it’s been that kind of year, and lets face it who saw that coming!!!

There is so much to let go of in order to catch another star, to ride a bigger wave and swim in deeper oceans. We are all trying to hold on to so much….. while time slips gladly by. It’s only time, non-linear, perfect time that might only be another illusion to unblock. Maybe we can be it all. Maybe we can understand it all. To do so we have to be able to lose it all. There only moments after all, days, weeks, months, years and decades just strung together in such a way that we can watch them fade aways. Lose the attachment and wonder what could I be if I let go of more. The world turns and we all learn a little more how we change with the seasons and that we have our very own seasons to live through.  So on that note I’m giving myself the next few weeks off if you hear from me consider it a Holiday bonus. I might even surprise myself. Have a great few weeks.

Double Handle

IMG-0613Following along on the Dharma theme I’ve been doing my best to to stay focused and complete each task as it arises. This small errand can be far more complicated than it might seem. Especially when we know that emails make babies. So tackling the email list as your entry level task for the day can seem like sitting on a fast moving treadmill and getting hit in the face by the floor. Personal Development can be very far from graceful. The great news is that every time we fail, we learn something. So with each attempt we are creating small and substantial victories.

Double handle? What does it actually mean? Way back when in another time, another life and a totally different trajectory I used to be a Fine Art Handler among other things….true story. The process of Handling Art is an Art Form in and of itself. Imagine you had the responsibility of picking up priceless objects on an a daily basis and how that might inform the way you think about things literally. When something is sooooooo valuable? Holding, carrying, bearing become ways of being rather than merely chopping water and fetching wood. Forgotten, lost or even mishandled become mythical as the checklist pull you back constantly to this moment. The right now. There here.  It changes everything.

One false move and you can undo centuries of painstaking work. Lose something irreplaceable. If ever broken, you can’t go back and “fix” it and even if you could it has to accepted as forever changed. That’s the thing with art you you aren’t actually meant to seamlessly repair it. You have to leave the repair visible so that anyone handling it in the future can see the damage. It’s a strange idea right? That the damage no matter how severe has to be accepted and adds  value to the art work over all, and proves it’s originality. It’s really quite remarkable to be able to see an art work as an original thing, with a life of it’s own.  Then witness the number of restorers, dab hands, forgers and chancers, that have had a go at trying to preserve a treasure. The repairs tell all kinds of stories. You can microscopically examine paint and figure out exactly what it is made from. How it might have been constructed and even who or where it was made.  We get insights into whole worlds histories and even daily stories. Repairs gone wrong, disasterous work days, and work extraordinaire. As well as master craftsman’s signatures that far surpass the talents of the original artist. All this painted out for you as the story of an object.

As an Art Handler we need to learn these stories the way that a health professional might take a patients history, so that we are best able to evaluate treatment, movement and transportation. Right down to what we wrap it in, what love it might need, to survive a journey of only a few feet and well it’s individual needs. The real moral of the story is that we always do our best to only pick something up once to minimise impact. As a result incredible planning and care it taken to ensure that each piece is given the best possible care. We always have an extra pair of hands,  we always have an extra pair of eyes and we always have an expert there to guide us. We only get to pull this off once and once only. Everyday is a remarkable experience of presence, zen awareness and total focus. There can be no foreseeable mistakes. We talk about double handling as a last resort. Imagine that you only get to do everything once. It’s a lot like those exploding keys of last week.

The Tragedy of Dharma or Did I Say Drama?

IMG-0581Lets get real we all love gossip, as graceful or as well meaning as we might all hope to be everybody loves a good story. Nothing better than a love story, then there’s nothing like someone else’s personal tragedy to help you grasp at all your lucky stars, with the tenacity that can keep you holding on to anything in the hope of something, for way to long.

So my self-care routine has been falling apart, my Instagram account is all about lost chronologies. My energy feels like chaos and my mind is a mess. What’s going on? Oh yes life and it’s fluctuations. This week I’m moving homes. I think it’s the 35th time this life time.

How can we make each day a blessing in mindfulness when each task seems to drivel it’s way across time like silly string. Yup it’s a tragedy of dharma. That if we don’t keep all our shit bolted to the walls and tied down nicely how can we possibly find any peace? Meanwhile messy fucked up life is reigning merry mayhem with the things you have apparently manifested. You have to decide that breathing is the best you can do for the next two minutes and if you can find water in the next three days well you are actually winning at life. Are we required to do much more than sustain ourselves anyway?

Drama can bring down dharma in a moment. Drama is the story that we tell ourselves to justify our dharma, pushing through our pain so that we can perceive ourselves as the highly functional being that we are supposed to be really? Really is that the story? To be happier? Is that the story? To be well? Is that the story of fulfillment? Is that the story of Dharma?

For many keeping your keys in the same place every day (even when you are not moving) can feel like chasing kryptonite even though it isn’t that cryptic. All you have to do is stay in the present moment long enough to put your keys in the same place. I have a friend who swears by the practice of visualising that his house keys exploded every time he puts them down somewhere. So he visually ingrains where he last saw them into his brain. After all who could forget a set of exploding keys?  It’s so symbolic to forget the keys to our house. In a material world it’s got to herald losing the keys to ourselves. We are disconnected disassociated with our own realities being taken on these magical journeys of mind.

My mind is constantly a flutter and there seems to no way to stop if from fluttering away to the next idea task or social media post even now. When I’ve got several unfinished thoughts of blog posts ahead of this one scheduled unready to go. The mind can be hard to capture sometimes. Like when you you try to use a kids fish net for catching butterflies and who has ever owned a butterfly net anyways? It’s such an extravagant thing. There it was though. That long fleeting memory of trying to catch butterflies that you never could. Sometime that is what mindfulness feels like when you’re all caught up in chasing money, catching abundance or dowsing for water. That anything just beyond your own breath is slipping through the net. Even if it’s all happening in the right way. We spin ourselves out of control when all we need is to drink the water, sleep easy and observe ourselves, then find ourselves in the moment again. With the dishes done. The tasks finished.

Then the onslaughts of to do lists rolling over us again. It’s all a commitment. We have to keep coming back to the discipleship of the every day. The dharma, chopping water and carrying wood, endlessly relearning the material ways for this lifetime.

MisGuided Guides

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As many of you who are members of my Healing Humans groups will have noticed I have been using a productivity system recommended by James Clear on how to improve systems rather than goals. As a result I’ve been reading all those email subscriptions in order to source amazing articles and insights for the group.

So I’ve been checking out Medium that seems to be written by a Millennial crowd. Millennials make me think back to other times and I like to think that every  youth generation has it’s thing The Beatniks, The Hippies and The Punk. Apparently I’m a Proto-Hipster with a Punk approach. That was sorted out for me several years ago already, to save anybody any confusion about my cultural origins. I dropped out of the idea of being classically successful probably round about the day I was born. Yet I still floundered in the public schooling system got an education (in the arts (What else?) ). I turned my hands, then lost my head doing the best I could to make sense of the incredibly fluid and systemised world that we live in. None of it makes any sense, it’s all bonkers, absurd, wilder than imagination and well like tripping. We go into offices, charities, start ups, NGO’s, governments and work at just about everything we can. To find that our bosses Dad left him at four so he has self-worth issues, that the girl two cubicles along from you is a refugee from Zimbabwe or lets here it for all the working mothers who are watching the clock all day making sure they gets to the school gate on time.

In the meantime we are trying to run logical no error systems with human robots, who keep bringing to the party exactly what they should. They bring there humaness. Their flawsome. We wonder why the system doesn’t work? We wonder how we can fit in? How we can get ahead?  How we can grow from criticism? How we can integrate feedback? How we can thrive through this? All massive challenges and questions and I wonder what I know about all this for sure. Lets be clear about this. It’s what I know. It’s not what I have mastered.

Turn Up

Just turn up endlessly without question. All the time. That shit gets noticed.

Set Boundaries

Know what your job is. If you don’t know what your job is. Your job is to do everything. Until such time as someone tells you it isn’t and changes their mind the next day. This is normal. Stay calm. It’s capitalism at it’s best. Be kind to everybody even when they are “challenging” – Step outside and scream and repeat.

Do Your Job

Yes I know it’s everything!!!!! Do it all. Don’t take toilet breaks. Don’t question your boss (Even though they ask for questions. If you do ask questions be sure to ask the ones they know the answers to). Don’t take on anybody else’s work until yours is done. Like totally done. Like you’ve been in the parking lot for 15 min thinking over what you’ve missed done.

If You Think Above You Pay Level You Have To Act On It 

You can only think above your pay level once you have mastered the first job you have. Everyone is busy. Make a job easier, faster more efficient you’ll get some fans. Yup start your fan base here.

Set Time Limits

Never take work home unless you have kids and their survival depends on your job.

Use Your Spare Time To Build Your Dream

It could be making floor cushions out of your pubic hair. If that’s what gets your vibe, do it.

THIS APPLIES TO EVERYTHING YOU UNDERTAKE WORK, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, HOME LIFE, EVERYTHING.

 

 

 

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.