Author: kimberleen

About kimberleen

I am the only one of me in the world. However there is a chance my soul is shared.

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.

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.